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➤ Business
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Highly useful
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➤ As enterprises continue focusing
on consolidation, virtualization, and
increased effciency, new server sales
remain slow. Gartner and IDC both
released their second-quarter updates
on the worldwide server market. Here
are some of the key takeaways:
r Factory revenue was down 6.2%
year over year, according to IDC,
marking the second consecutive
quarter of revenue decline. Gartner
fgures show revenue down 3.8%.
r IDC stats show server shipments
were down 1.2% from a year ago;
Gartner reports shipments up 4%.
r The Asia-Pacific region had the
greatest growth, with shipments
up 21.7% and revenue up 10% year
over year, according to Gartner.
➤ Research frm IDC recently released
its latest “Worldwide Personal and
Entry Level Storage Tracker” report,
which noted 10.7% year-over-year
growth in PELS (personal and entry-
level storage) shipments worldwide
with 16.8 million units shipped in
Q2 2013. “For the last four quarters,
the PELS market has seen a distinct
focus on recovery after the Thailand
foods and resulting hard disk drive
shortage,” says Liz Connor, senior re-
search analyst, storage systems, with
IDC. “The second quarter brought
back a sense of ‘business as usual’
with vendors starting to shift their focus from recovery to the future, with
added investments in personal cloud storage, mobile device connectivity,
emerging markets, USB 3.0, and Thunderbolt.” Year-over-year to Q2 2013,
PELS revenues increased 7.3% to $1.5 billion.
➤ The United States and China show
the greatest potential to drive tech-
nology breakthroughs with global
impact in the next four years, ac-
cording to KPMG’s “Global Tech-
nology Innovation” report. When
asked which countries show the most
promise for disruptive breakthroughs,
37% of respondents said the U.S. This
was followed by China (24%), India
(10%), Korea (7%), Japan (6%), and
Israel (6%). This year’s survey marked
the debut of an innovation confdence
index, for which tech leaders were
asked to rank their countries on 10
success factors, including talent, infra-
structure, and incentives. India ranked
No. 1 on that index, with a score of 72,
followed by Israel (71) and the U.S.
(65). Regarding India, Pradeep Udhas,
head of markets for KPMG, said,
“Despite several concerns on data
privacy and local technological infra-
structure, the outlook for the sector is
largely positive.”
➤ New research from eMarketer in-
dicates that worldwide B2C (business
to consumer) ecommerce sales are
rapidly growing. According to eMar-
keter, B2C ecommerce sales will pass
$1.2 trillion this year and total more
than $1.8 trillion in 2016. Although
the Asia-Pacifc region currently lags
behind North America in terms of
overall B2C ecommerce sales, and
sales in the Middle East and Africa re-
gions will increase more quickly than
those in the Asia-Pacifc (albeit from a
smaller base), Asia-Pacifc will surpass
North America and all other regions
and account for the greatest growth
over the next three years, according
to eMarketer. Presently, the research
frm says, North America and Western
Europe are the only regions in which
most Internet users also buy goods
online, but this is expected to change
as more people become Internet users,
especially in developing markets in
the Asia-Pacifc region.
➤ The ITO (information technology
outsourcing) market will reach $288
billion this year, which represents a
2.8% increase over 2012, if Gartner’s
current forecast holds true. This
marks a greater increase than the
research firm had previously fore-
cast, mainly due to increases in the
outsourcing of custom application
creation and infrastructure utility
services. “Enterprise buyers pursu-
ing hybrid IT strategies and small
and midsize business buyers adopt-
ing infrastructure as a service are
key drivers in cloud and data center
service segment growth rates,” says
Bryan Britz, research vice president
at Gartner. Data outsourcing is in
a gradual decline, according to Gart-
ner, while outsourcing support for
mobile devices such as smartphones
and tablets is on the rise as the BYOD
(bring your own device) trend con-
tinues to take hold with greater num-
bers of businesses.
PC Today / October 2013 3
➤ As PC shipments continue to decline worldwide, the latest fgures from re-
search frm IDC show that even emerging markets, where PC sales had been
strong, are turning away from full-sized computers in favor of mobile devices.
IDC expects global PC shipments to decline 9.7% this year, and the following chart
illustrates the popularity of portable computers in emerging and mature markets.
➤ The presence of Wi-Fi capabilities
in smartphones is now a common
expectation among buyers, particu-
larly now that Wi-Fi hotspots are
widely available and Wi-Fi repre-
sents an easy, fast, and cheap way
to use the Internet and other data
features. Combine this expectation
with a steady increase in smartphone
purchases and a decline in PC sales,
and it’s no wonder that almost half
of all Wi-Fi chipset shipments will
be for smartphones in just fve years.
That’s according to ABI Research,
which says that a new Wi-Fi stan-
dard, 802.11ac, will be very popular,
particularly in smartphones. The re-
search firm expects smartphones to
incorporate 40% of 802.11ac chipsets
shipped in 2013 and 46% of those
shipped in 2018.
➤Over the past few years, cloud com-
puting has progressed from hype to
reality in many enterprise settings.
Case in point: a new cloud computing
study from 451 Research found that
60% of IT professionals and decision-
makers surveyed envision cloud com-
puting “as a natural evolution of IT
service delivery,” and of the 40% who
have separate cloud computing bud-
gets, 69% anticipate budget increases
this year and in 2014. However, 83%
of respondents reported “significant
roadblocks to deploying their cloud
computing initiatives,” which repre-
sents a 9% increase over survey results
from late 2012.
➤ According to DisplaySearch, larger
and smaller tablets will switch places
in terms of popularity this year.
Tablets with screens 9 inches or larger
dominated in 2012, accounting for
more than 60% of tablet shipments. In
2013, says DisplaySearch, tablets with
screens smaller than 9 inches will leap
ahead to take 66% of the market. The
research frm expects new 8-inch tab-
lets to be in high demand during the
second half of 2013, creating most of
the boost in small-tablet sales. Laptop
computer shipments are expected to
decline 5% between 2012 and 2013,
while tablet computers are forecast to
increase 67% in the same time period.
➤ After a lackluster 2012, with 1.2%
growth for the year, the worldwide
mobile phone market is likely to grow
7.3% year-over-year in 2013, according
to the latest forecast from IDC. The
research firm noted stronger-than-
expected growth during the frst half
of 2013, prompting it to increase its
original 5.8% growth forecast. Kevin
Restivo, senior research analyst with
IDC’s Worldwide Mobile Phone
Tracker program, points to smart-
phone shipments as driving overall
mobile phone shipments across all
markets, adding that almost all mobile
phones sold in developed economies
in 2017 will be smartphones.
2017 2013 2012 2017 2013 2012
Total PCs Portable PCs Desktop PCs
Emerging Market


Mature Market
4 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
➤ The “2013 Portrait of Digital
Travelers” report from MMGY Global
and Harrison Group, which drew re-
sults from a survey of 1,258 digital
consumers in the U.S., has identi-
fed a booming new class of “digital
elite” travelers, described as people
who “own and use at least two digital
devices (a smartphone and tablet) to
plan and purchase travel services.”
This category has grown immensely
in two years, from 5% of all active
travelers in 2011 to 33% this year,
according to the report. Among the
additional fndings: Members of this
category were 10% more likely than
other travelers to make travel reserva-
tions online in 2012, and in general are
savvy mobile Web users.
➤There is a general understanding in the tech industry that there should be no
expectation of guaranteed privacy when using the Internet. According to a new
survey from Pew Internet & American Life Project, however, most Web users
prefer to be anonymous at least sometimes when online, and 86% “have taken
steps online to remove or mask their digital footprints.” And although 59%
don’t believe it’s possible to have complete online anonymity, 37% believe it is
possible. The following fgures indicate the percentages of those surveyed who
report negative online experiences related to privacy and security problems.
➤ Not only is the public IT cloud
services market rapidly growing—
reaching $47.4 billion this year and
forecast to pass the $107 billion mark
in 2017, with a compound annual
growth rate of 23.5%—it has entered
a “Chapter Two” growth phase,
according to IDC, in which cloud
computing will become increasingly
interconnected with mobile, social,
and Big Data components. “The frst
wave of cloud services adoption was
focused on improving the effciency
of the IT department,” says Frank
Gens, senior vice president and chief
analyst at IDC. “Over the next sev-
eral years, the primary driver for
cloud adoption will shift from eco-
nomics to innovation as leading-
edge companies invest in cloud
services as the foundation for new
competitive offerings.” New “busi-
ness as a service” solutions, Gens
adds, will further and more broadly
drive IT-related cloud adoption.
➤ Information workers today rely
heavily on digital information avail-
able via the Internet. Just as busi-
nesses had to adapt to the shift from
print to online, businesses are now
facing another shift: rather than
accessing content at desktop com-
puters, workers are increasingly ac-
cessing multimedia content using a
variety of devices. In fact, new re-
search from Gartner indicates more
than 60% of information workers
will rely on content apps on mobile
devices by 2015. According to Whit
Andrews, vice president and dis-
tinguished analyst for Gartner, the
challenge for companies will be to
engage those employees by “encour-
aging them to use the devices they
have chosen,” and to support those
devices. “Even though mobile de-
vices represent an inconvenient way
to deliver video in many respects,”
he says, “they must be part of any
enterprise video strategy.”
➤ A monumental increase in the
amount of available unstructured
data, a constant need for enterprises
to upgrade their business processes,
and a demand for advanced and pre-
dictive analytics serve as the driving
forces behind the big data market,
according to MarketsandMarkets.
The research and consulting firm
expects the worldwide big data
market to grow at a compound an-
nual growth rate of 25.52% between
2013 and 2018, from $14.87 billion
to $46.34 billion, driven by the rise
of consumer and machine data and
demand for big data appliances.
MarketsandMarkets notes that there
is significant demand for big data
applications and unifed appliances
and, even though there are a number
of such products on the market,
they’re typically complex and dif-
fcult to integrate. Professional and
integration services could help solve
the issue.
21% Email or social networking account compromised or hijacked
Trouble in a family/friend relationship due to an online post
Victim of online stalking or harassment
Important personal or financial information stolen
Victim of an online scam resulting in financial loss
Reputation damaged
Treat of physical danger
Job or educational opportunity compromised
PC Today / October 2013 5
➤ New York-based Unite US pro-
vides an online platform intended
to “bridge the divide” between U.S.
Armed Forces, veterans, and their
families, as well as the businesses, or-
ganizations, and citizens that support
them. According to a TechCrunch re-
port, Unite US recently received $2
million in seed funding to help fur-
ther its platform’s offerings and reach.
The overarching idea behind Unite
US is to provide all parties with con-
venient access to helpful information
about available resources. As Unite
US co-founder and CEO Dan Brillman
explained it to TechCrunch, the plat-
form has more similarity to the local
resource-minded Yelp than to the
more-professional LinkedIn.
➤ The IoT (Internet of things) is primarily about connecting the sensors in ma-
chinery, appliances, surveillance systems, and countless other locations with the
computing systems that businesses, utilities, gov-
ernment agencies, and consumers use. The IoT is
already a reality, as many of these types of sensors
and systems currently communicate with each
other, but the market for IoT systems is rapidly ex-
panding. So the question now isn’t whether the IoT
market will explode, but rather what companies
will play prominent roles in its growth. In an effort
to compete in this market with the likes of Intel,
chip-maker AMD recently acquired the Finland-
based IoT software company Sensinode Oy for an
undisclosed sum. “Sensinode is a pioneer in soft-
ware for low-cost, low-power Internet-connected
devices and has been a key contributor to open
standards for IoT,” said John Cornish, executive
vice president and general manager of ARM’s
system design division, in a statement. Sensinode personnel and technology will be-
come available to the ARM Partnership and ARM’s mbed project.
➤ Since it was founded six years
ago, the Berkeley, Calif., startup IQ
Engines has focused efforts on Glow,
its platform for recognizing people,
objects, text, and other standout
imagery within photographs and
matching them with similar im-
agery in other photographs. Now
Yahoo has included IQ Engines in
its ongoing tech company buying
spree. According to a post on the IQ
Engines website, the company will
join Yahoo’s Flickr team and “take
things to a global level.” Neither com-
pany revealed further details about
the acquisition.
➤ Consumers provide companies
with a lot of valuable information.
The problem, however, is most
of that information is in the form
of blog and social media posts and
isn’t provided directly to the com-
panies, much less in an organized
form companies can use. This is
where Plano, Texas,-based startup
Oculus360 comes in, with a platform
that gathers diverse consumer data
and delivers it to companies in a
meaningful form. Oculus360 recently
received $1.5 million in first round
venture funding, which the company
will use to make its presence known.
➤ San Francisco-based Loggly claims
to serve more than 3,500 companies
with its cloud-based log manage-
ment solutions, which are geared
toward helping IT personnel at cloud-
oriented organizations monitor and
troubleshoot their infrastructure, ap-
plications, and processes. Loggly re-
cently received $10.5 million in Series
B funding from Trinity Ventures,
True Ventures, and Matrix Partners,
bringing its total venture fnancing to
$20.9 million. According to its press
release, Loggly is the frst to tailor log
and log analysis tools specifcally for
cloud-centric businesses.
6 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
Teradata lives and breathes data.
Since its incorporation in 1979, the
company has worked hard to de-
velop solutions that can take infor-
mation from a vast array of different
sources and turn it into one cen-
tralized decision-making mecca. In
1983, Teradata shipped its frst beta
system. By 1997, the company re-
leased its Relationship Optimizer,
which was a CRM system designed
for banking institutions. And now
the company has grown far beyond
Data Warehousing
& Analysis
Teradata Unlocks Your Business Potential With Organized & Centralized Information
its beginnings with more than 10,000
associates located in 42 countries
around the world, a base of more
than 1,200 customers, and solutions
designed for companies in almost
every industry.
But in that span of time, Teradata
hasn’t changed its vision or the ul-
timate goals for its client base:
making life easier for customers.
Whether it’s a few terabytes of data
or multiple storage arrays creating a
big data conundrum, Teradata uses
its 30-plus years of experience to
help customers make sense of that
data. The company’s approach to
data warehousing and analytics isn’t
simply about compiling information
and making it more accessible. It’s
also about ensuring the future suc-
cess of its customers by presenting
them with all of the factors and vari-
ables that are relevant to making
crucial business decisions.
Customers use Teradata’s solu-
tions to improve internal operations,
Teradata has over 30 years
of experience in data
warehousing and analysis.
Its solutions are designed
to gather data, organize it,
and make it easily acces-
sible when you need it.
Teradata’s solutions for
data management and
marketing are great for
smaller businesses that
want to gain insight on
customers and improve
their brand recognition.
Teradata offers solu-
tions for quite a few
different industries,
including automotive,
fnancial services, high
tech manufacturing,
travel, and utilities.
Any company, regardless of
size or industry, can use Tera-
data solutions to not only
better manage their data,
but also gain new insights in
order to make better business
8 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
customers in order to maintain a
steady revenue fow. One company,
the Chinatrust Commercial Bank,
used Teradata as a CRM tool for
its 45 million customers. But the
company also wanted to expand its
customer base. With its Teradata
implementation, Chinatrust was
able to achieve an ROI of 168%
and gain enough new business to
double its initial investment in the
Teradata platform.
➤Government. If there’s one “in-
dustry” that can benefit from big
data management and analysis tools,
it’s the government. Whether at the
state, local, or federal level, govern-
ment institutions are responsible for
millions of people as well as the data
they produce and consume. Because
Teradata’s solutions are so fexible,
they can be used for cyber defense
purposes; tax collection; or to main-
tain, manage, and protect medical
information in order to improve the
health care industry.
In fact, the Centers for Medicare
a nd Me di c a i d Se r vi c e s us e
Teradata’s solutions to prevent
fraud and abuse. They host their
Integrated Data Repository on a
Teradata platform and use it to place
all of their data into one central loca-
tion for easier access. This system
makes it possible to categorize the
data by provider or by beneficiary
to weed out potentially fraudulent
claims. And in addition to fraud pre-
vention, the CMS can use Teradata’s
platform to analyze medical infor-
mation to discover trends and plan
ahead for the future.
➤ Hi gh- t ec h manuf ac t ur i ng.
Manufacturing companies are al-
ways looking to lower costs and
operate more effciently, especially
when those companies are working
with semiconductors and other ad-
vanced technology products. The
key to earning more money this in-
dustry is to streamline the manu-
facturing process and improve the
develop new marketing strategies,
maximize financial security while
minimizing risk, and many other
endeavors. Its products and plat-
forms make it possible manage your
data overall or zero in on specific
processes that are in need of im-
provement. With Teradata solu-
tions, organizations can transform
mountains of information into a
well of ideas that are appropriate to
their industry and context.
Teradata understands that an au-
tomotive company will have data
management and analysis needs
that are very different from a health
care organization. That’s why in
addition to general services that
are a fit for many different types
of companies, Teradata also offers
products and services designed for
businesses in specific industries.
Here are a few examples of sup-
ported industries and customers
that have benefited from using
Teradata’s data management and
analytics solutions.
➤ Communications. For companies
in the communications industry,
everything is focused on the cus-
tomer experience. Teradata makes
it possible to not only gather data
on your customers and make sure
it’s up-to-date for every department
throughout your organization, but
its solutions also help you gain in-
sight into those customers’ needs.
If your customers are experiencing
network or service performance is-
sues, for example, you can use in-
formation that is actually drawn
directly from those customers to de-
termine where the problems lie and
fx them promptly. And if you know
that those same customers have sub-
scriptions with upcoming expira-
tion dates, you may be able to take a
proactive approach and offer them
incentives to stay on and guarantee
a better quality of service from that
point forward.
➤Automotive & industrial. Volvo
was able to use Teradata solutions
to pull information from multiple
sources to better keep track of their
product designs and warranties.
And beyond those “basics,” Volvo
was also able to track the perfor-
mance of its vehicles even after they
were driven off the lot. Teradata’s
Early Warning Engine calculation
engine, initially used for Volvo ve-
hicles, used data analytics to predict
when a vehicle might encounter a
failure of some kind. Teradata made
it possible to track individual com-
ponents within a vehicle, regardless
of the model. This type of predic-
tive analytics is not only a plus for
Vol vo’ s warranty management
needs, but also for customer safety.
➤ Consumer goods. Retail outlets
have to focus on marketing, cus-
tomer service, and proft margins,
among many other concerns, in
order to be successful. And the best
way to cover those areas is through
the use of data anal ysi s tool s.
Imagine being able to gather data
from customers’ social media ac-
tivity, product-specifc surveys, and
purchase histories. Then, combine
all of that information with demo-
graphic-based data, such as age and
location. Teradata solutions enable
you to target potential customers
with your marketing efforts, but it
also lets you learn from your ex-
isting customer base and establish
new sales philosophies. The more
targeted your marketing and sales
approach, the more likely it is that
your customers will remain loyal
and feel connected to your brand.
➤ Financial services. Risk man-
agement is an ongoing concern for
banks and other financial institu-
tions. In order to make a sound in-
vestment, many fnancial companies
turn to data analysis tools for pre-
dictive modeling or simply to fore-
cast potential ROI. However, banks
also need to focus on enticing new
PC Today / October 2013 9
equipment, manage data from the
sensors inside oil wells, and a va-
riety of other management tasks.
One oil refnery was able to gather
real-time information from termi-
nals, pipelines, and environmental
sensors to not only to make sure oil
production was running effciently,
but also that all environmental safe-
ties were functioning correctly.
➤ Travel. It’s no secret that there’s
quite a bit of competition in the
travel industry, especially if you
look at all of the travel-oriented
comparison sites and services that
help you package hotel rooms,
rental cars, and other necessities
during a trip. Some companies try
to undercut their competition by
lowering prices as far as possible,
but many believe that the real key
to success in the travel industry is
to encourage customer loyalty.
Teradata provides airlines, ho-
tels, travel agencies, and other busi-
nesses with the tools necessary to
overall supply chain, which is ex-
actly the circumstance that Teradata
can help.
Teradata lets you analyze data
throughout the manufacturing pro-
cess and gain insights into customer
interaction with those products
throughout their life cycles. Using
this information, you can not only
make sure the manufacturing pro-
cess is as effcient as possible, but
also ensure that your products are
performing as expected once they’re
in the hands of customers.
➤ Media & entertainment. Film
production and distribution is ar-
guably the most marketing-focused
industry in existence. Movie pro-
duction companies such as Warner
Bros. Entertainment have to think
about how much to spend on mar-
keting for their films, how many
tickets they need to sell to break
even and eventually earn a proft,
and how long it will take to see that
return on investment.
Warner Bros. Ent ert ai nment
used Teradata’s Aprimo Marketing
Studio to build reports in a fraction
of the time it would have normally
taken. The product also helped the
company compare marketing cam-
paigns for multiple films over an
extended period of time. Other in-
dustries may want to take note of
this, as this type of predictive mod-
eling could be used to determine
the potential future success of up-
coming product launches and miti-
gate some of the risks involved with
new releases.
➤ Oil & gas. Businesses in the oil
and gas industry have unique chal-
lenges compared to organizations
in most other industries. They have
to make sure that every process is
fully optimized, from drilling and
pumping to distribution. Teradata,
with its big data and predictive
analysis capabilities, enables oil
and gas companies to track the re-
pair and replacement timelines for
10 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
As demonstrated by the examples
in this article, Teradata’s solutions
are capable of handling the data
collection and analytics needs of
almost any type of organization,
regardless of size, in virtually every
industry. Smaller shops can take
advantage of its products and ser-
vices to improve brand awareness
and reach out to local customers.
And larger organizations can use
Teradata’s solutions to overcome
big data challenges and create a
centralized information database
from which they can constantly de-
rive new intelligence.
Companies are always looking
for new and more effcient ways to
gather data, and more innovative
ways to utilize that data. Teradata
makes it possible to improve the
decision-making process for every
aspect of your business with its
easy-to-use tools and decades of
data warehousing and analysis ex-
perience. ●
analyze customer data and better
target new and existing clients with
suitable products, services, and
packages. Companies use this in-
formation in much the same way
that a retail outlet would to target
customers based on demographics.
Rather than canvassing a large
group of people or hoping your
prices are lower than those of com-
petitors, you can target customers
(and potential customers) who will
enjoy the specifc benefts you have
to offer.
Improving sales is one way to in-
crease revenues, but organizations
can leverage Teradata solutions for
other aspects of travel, as well. For
instance, airlines can take advantage
of Teradata products to track fuel
usage or determine whether or not
their employees are working with
as much effciency as possible. You
may be able to fnd new areas in your
company in which you can cut costs,
which will beneft your operations as
a whole.
➤ Utilities. The OGE Energy Corp.
has to contend with data from more
than 52 million meter reads per day,
and those figures are expected to
double in the coming years. OGE
also has an integrated operations
center that receives as many as 2
million event messages per day.
Those messages are generated by
meter alarms, outage management
systems, and other sources, making
it challenging to centralize and
maintain the data.
OGE decided to take advantage
of Teradata’s data warehousing and
analysis capabilities to bring all of
this disparate data under a single
umbrella and manage it more ef-
fciently in a more unifed fashion.
OGE uses this data not only to
manage its business, but also to
reach out to customers in a more
effective manner. The company also
uses Teradata solutions to gather
Smart Metering data, which will
help improve utilities effciency in
the future.
Perhaps the most signif-
cant benefit of Teradata’s
services is that they are
scalable to companies of all
sizes. In fact, smaller busi-
nesses can use many of
Teradata’s solutions to im-
prove their presence in the
marketplace and target cus-
tomers more effciently. The
company offers multiple
marketing solutions to help
companies organize their
marketing initiatives, keep
better track of expenditures,
link marketing data with
other relevant data, ensure
compliance between promo-
tions and regulations, im-
prove workfow, and more.
Teradata’ s Marketi ng
Operations solution, for
example, helps you get
a better overhead view of
your marketing campaign
and shows you where
money i s bei ng spent
as well as whether or not
the campaign is having
t he desi red ef f ect . I t s
Multi-Channel Campaign
Management s ol ut i on
unites your digital and tra-
ditional marketing channels
and helps you make deci-
sions based on real-time
consumer information and
feedback. And Teradata’s
Marketing Analytics and
Data Management solution
helps you better understand
customers by offering all
available data on an indi-
vidual, but it also automati-
cally protects their privacy
based on established per-
missions. These marketing
sol uti ons al l ow you to
target specific customers,
rather than force you to cast
a wide net and hope you get
viable leads.
In addition to marketing
products, Teradata also
offers finance and perfor-
mance management solu-
tions that can reduce your
fi nanci al i nfrastructure
costs, help maximize the
benefits of an ERP (enter-
prise resource planning)
initiative, and much more.
You can also use Teradata
solutions to keep track of
revenue for tax purposes or
calculate the risk and po-
tential value of certain in-
vestments. Add big data
analytics, business intel-
ligence tools, data gover-
nance control, and demand
planning to the solution
portfolio and it’s easy to see
how Teradata can help your
small business (or business
of any size) gain traction
in an industry, gain more
customers, and plan for the
future with the help of data
centralization and analytics.
PC Today / October 2013 11
As the cost of mass storage con-
tinues to drop, companies are in-
creasingly faced with more data
challenges than ever before. Add to
this the fact that almost every person
and business in the world has a social
media presence, blog, or other infor-
mation creation outlet, and it won’t
be long before that data becomes so
voluminous that it seems unmanage-
able. At least, that’s one way to look
at it.
Teradata chooses to see these
mountains of data as harboring a
wealth of gold deposits that are well
worth mining. A simple Facebook
post or tweet about a product could
be the key you need to reach a new
demographic and customer base.
Internally, feedback and weekly re-
ports from your employees might
lead to your IT team changing busi-
ness processes to improve overall ef-
fciency and productivity.
The possibilities for leveraging big
data are endless, but only if you have
the tools in place to take advantage
of the data. Teradata’s solutions let
you draw information from multiple
sources, both internal and external,
create a central database, and ana-
lyze all available information to gain
insight into different aspects of your
business and improve the decision
making process. Another signifcant
aspect of Teradata’s approach to big
data is that its solutions are fexible
and scalable for businesses of all
sizes. You determine your analytics
needs and Teradata will supply a so-
lution or platform that will unlock
that data’s potential.
Teradata Big Data
Centralize Your Data & Use It To Make Informed Business Decisions
When it comes to big data analysis,
one of Teradata’s most powerful solu-
tions when it comes to big data anal-
ysis is its Unifed Data Architecture.
UDA leverages the capabilities of the
Teradata Database, which is a plat-
form for gathering, centralizing, and
integrating data throughout your
company. You can also take advan-
tage of the Aster Discovery Platform
and Aster Big Analytics Appliance to
quickly search through heavily struc-
tured data as well as to integrate your
Teradata big data analysis solution
with Apache Hadoop.
UDA also provides access to
Teradata’s Viewpoint tool, which lets
you access any system from one cen-
tralized location. It includes Unity
Data Mover, which lets you easily
move data between different Teradata
systems, and a host of other features
designed to give you easier access
to your data whenever and wher-
ever you need it. In combination, all
of these tools provide you and your
employees with greater insights into
your business and your customer
base. Users can access any piece of
data or any analysis tool and use it
immediately to make educated, on-
the-fy decisions.
For instance, if a customer calls
into your support center and needs
help with a certain product, you could
create a system where you can pull up
the customer’s record, see where and
when they bought the product, how
many times they’ve called for support
in the past, and what their overall
experience is with your product. This
is just one example of how a unifed
database can be used; it’s also useful
in other facets of your company.

12 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
products both in-house as well as at
retail outlets, Teradata lets you view
your inventory based on the store or
the product SKU.
For larger companies, demand
planning is a major big data issue
because there are multiple supply
chains to track and a large amount
of retailers selling their products.
Imagine being able to see the exact
number of units in any given store
and triggering a shipment process as
soon as a certain number is reached.
This ensures the highest possible
manufacturing effciency, and it im-
proves your visibility with customers
because you’ll always have products
in stock.
Everything Teradata does and
every solution it offers is designed
to give you and your employees
the best and most helpful data
for a given situation. You can use
Teradata’s BI (business intelligence)
solutions to create reports for your
executive and management teams,
and/or you can push that intelli-
gence out to your salespeople, cus-
tomer service representatives, and
even customers. Larger companies
can use Teradata to maintain their
existing customer base while smaller
businesses can use Teradata’s BI
tools to gain insights that help level
the playing feld.
Teradata also offers services de-
signed to assist your big data anal-
ysis quest. The company provides
industry-specifc consulting services
that help you get the most out of
your solutions as well as project
management services to aid in im-
plementation and training processes.
Whether you’re a large organization
with a dedicated analytics team or a
smaller business just looking to get
into big data analysis, Teradata will
support you throughout the process
and give you advice using over 30
years of data analysis experience. ●
With the Teradata Database, you
will have all of your data in one cen-
tral location, which means you have
the opportunity to search out and
grab information for whatever project
you’re working on. If you are about
to launch a new product and have
released something similar in the past,
you may want to gather data about
your marketing efforts and customer
outreach programs or look at sales
fgures to predict how well your new
product might perform. Using this
data, you can create analytical models
that could help you repeat former suc-
cesses or learn from past mistakes.
Another important aspect of big
data management is governance.
Many companies—especially those
in the health care industry—must
comply with regulations that govern
where and for how long certain data
may be stored. Sensitive informa-
tion, such as confdential medical re-
cords, credit card numbers, and other
personally identifiable information
associated with customers and em-
ployees, needs to be handled differ-
ently than other types of data.
Teradata data warehousing and
analysis solutions not only make it
easier to use data for decision making
purposes, but also to meet compli-
ance standards. With so much data
stored inside your organization, it
can be diffcult to track, but Teradata
gives you an in-depth view of every
piece of data and every project. You
can see when a piece of data was cre-
ated, who last accessed it, how many
times it has been modifed, and who
modifed it. But you can also decide
whether or not that data is truly ben-
eficial to your organization so you
can choose to keep or retire it. And
if it’s crucial to maintain and secure
that data for compliance reasons, you
can make sure the data is only acces-
sible by certain integrated systems,
and that it is fully protected. with
Teradata’s systems, you will always
know where a specifc piece of data is
stored and you always have control
over who can access it.
Teradata’s solutions also help you
make sure your supply chain is al-
ways meeting current customer de-
mand. Without data analytics and
an in-depth view into your sales
fgures, you may be manufacturing
more product than you need, which
could lead to a surplus of inven-
tory. If your company needs to track
PC Today / October 2013 13
In many respects, Teradata needs
no introduction. Over roughly 30
years, after all, the company has
established itself as one of the most
well-known and respected global
providers of enterprise data ware-
housing and business analytics so-
lutions, products, applications, and
consulting and support services.
Beyond bei ng si ngl ed out as
one of the top U.S. public com-
panies and as one of the world’s
most innovative and ethical orga-
nizations, Teradata has amassed an
impressive list of 1,500-plus global
businesses it has served over the de-
cades that reads like a who’s who of
leading companies in telecommuni-
cations, healthcare, travel and trans-
portation, manufacturing, retail,
airline, fnancial, and other indus-
tries. Put simply, Teradata has done
a lot of things right for a long time
concerning database warehousing
and business analytics.
Perhaps most notably, the com-
pany has been i nstrumental i n
implementing thousands of en-
terprise data warehouses in com-
panies that have enabled those
companies’ business users to access
and manage near-real-time data
to make quicker and more intel-
ligent business decisions. Teradata
claims, in fact, that more than 3
million global users working in
a wide range of industries access
an integrated Teradata data ware-
house on a daily basis.
In more recent years, Teradata
has rel eased several sol ut i ons
and products targeted at big data
storage, management, and analytics
to become a leading provider in this
space, as well. In addition to the
Teradata Appliance for Hadoop, the
company offers the Teradata Aster
Big Analytics Appliance, which
Teradata touts as the industry’s
“first unified big analytics appli-
ance” and which provides a “pow-
erful, ready-to-run big analytics and
discovery platform” preconfigured
and optimized to specifcally tackle
big data analysis.
It’s impossible to ignore the ex-
citement and possibilities big data
is generating today. Embracing big
data’s potential, however, requires
many companies to take a different
approach to managing the special-
ized data that’s involved. Whereas
enterprises have traditionally used
relational database management
systems to work with the easily for-
matted and categorized structured
data they produce and collect (e.g.,
customer records, number of prod-
ucts purchased, etc.), relational data-
bases aren’t well-suited for tackling
the massive amounts of data en-
terprises are now obtaining from
sensors, social networks, call cen-
ters, users’ Web activity, and other
sources, which all produce semi-
structured and unstructured data.
Something that is well-equipped to
handle these types of data is Hadoop,
an open-source technology that has
been variously dubbed “the heart,”
the “poster child,” and the “de facto
technology” of the big data move-
ment. In short, Hadoop uses a mas-
sively parallel processing approach
to simplify the storage, management,
and analysis of the various types of
semi-structured and unstructured
data involved with big data.
Among the avenues Teradata of-
fers to help companies tackle their
big data analytics needs is via the
company’ s Teradat a Ast er Bi g
Analytics Appliance, an “out-of-
the-box,” pre-configured big data
solution that combines optimized
hardware and software. Running
on Teradata’s own hardware plat-
f or m, t hi s appl i ance i ncl udes
Hadoop, MapReduce, and other
key big analytics technologies; the
Aster Database; numerous business
intelligence and ETL (extract, trans-
form, load) tools; SQL-H and SQL-
MapReduce for advanced analytics
tasks; and other vital components.
Your IT leaders will be happy
to know that based on company
workloads, the Aster Big Analytics
Appliance can be customized with
Aster nodes, Hortonworks Data
Platform Hadoop nodes, or a com-
bination of both nodes. What does
this mean in broad terms? In ad-
dition to integrating the appliance
into your existing infrastructure,
Teradata states that the appliance’s
ease of accessibility allows it to de-
liver big data analysis without the
need for specialized software or
hardware management skills in the
data center or regarding enterprise
The Teradat a Appl i ance f or
Hadoop, meanwhile, offers com-
panies an enterprise-class, opti-
mized-hardware foundation using
enterprise-class server nodes and
storage specifically designed for
Hadoop workloads. This includes
Put Data To Work
Data Warehousing Leader Teradata Also Fills Big Data Needs
14 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
their Teradata infrastructure design,
implementation, and maintenance
Teradata’s specific products in-
clude the Teradata Unified Data
Architecture (a platform containing
mul t i pl e t echnol ogi es t hat l et
users access one centralized, inte-
grated source of data); Teradata
Database (version 14. 10 was re-
cently released with numerous new
features); a host of business intelli-
gence applications that target mar-
keting, retail, product flow, airline,
tax compliance, sales, inventory,
and other areas; Teradata Data Lab
(enables companies to use new and
existing data to test, explore, and
identify new trends and insights);
a backup and restore framework;
Teradata Active Data Warehouse
Pr i vat e Cl oud; and Ter adat a
Workload-Specific Platforms.
The Workload-Specifc Platforms,
which are part of the Teradata
Pl at f orm Fami l y and run t he
Teradata Database, are designed
to meet a range of analytic and BI
requirements. The family includes
the Teradata Active Enterprise
Data Warehouse platform, as well
as numerous appliances, including
Data Warehouse, Data Mart, Aster
MapReduce, Extreme Data, and SAS
appliances. The family also includes
the Teradata Aster Big Analytics
Appl i ance and Appl i ance f or
Hadoop. ●
refining of multi-structured data
and easy big data storage. Overall,
Teradata states the Appliance for
Hadoop represent s t he easi est
way for enterprises to implement
Hadoop into their enterprise data
infrastructures. Offered as an in-
tegrated package, the appliance
combines high-speed connectors
(including Teradata Studio), open-
source HortonWorks Data Platform
software, and Teradata service and
support into a “plug-in ready”
system that’s scalable to petabytes
of big data storage.
In addition to the numerous im-
plementation and consultation ser-
vices Teradata offers companies for
their Hadoop envi-
ronments, the com-
pany al so of f ers
Teradata Commo-
dity Configuration
for Hadoop, which
provi des a st an-
dard, low-cost hard-
ware approach that
i s opt i mi zed f or
the Hortonworks
Data Platform, for
whi c h Te r adat a
has partnered with
Hortonworks and
Dell. The Teradata
Software-Onl y For Hadoop of-
fering, meanwhile, provides im-
plementation and support for the
Hortornworks Data Platform for
companies that want to run Hadoop
on their own servers.
Outside of big data, Teradata
has carved out its success over the
years to a great extent by devel-
oping technologies and forging
partner rel ati onshi ps to create
products and solutions that ben-
efit customers in several notable
ways. This has included the ben-
efits companies experience upon
implementing Teradata’s integrated
enterprise database warehousing,
analytics, and business applications
infrastructure. Overall, Teradata’s
approach enables companies to
consolidate data they’re acquiring
from various sources but that’s
likely spread across different de-
partments, essentially forming data
silos that make it diffcult for users
to get one clear, real-time vision of
the organization.
By taking advantage of the data
access, management, and business
analytical tools Teradata provides,
business users can form faster,
more intelligent business decisions
than previously they might have
been able to previously. The result:
companies can better maximize the
value from their data, better react
to current business conditions, take
greater advantage of opportunities
as they present themselves, and
form new strategies based on im-
proved analytics capabilities.
Scal abi l i ty i s al so key. As a
Teradata customer’s business grows
and its analytics needs expand,
Teradata’s infrastructure scales
with them. Additionally, Teradata’s
products and solutions are adapt-
able to companies of all sizes but
are powerful enough to tackle the
most complex of analytical require-
ments. Moreover, Teradata boasts
the “largest and most experienced
force of consultants” available in
the data warehousing sector in
terms of assisting companies with
Visit Teradata’s website
at www.teradata.com
to learn more about the
Teradata Portfolio for
Hadoop and how it can
benefit your business.
PC Today / October 2013 15
Are you confused as to how busi-
nesses use virtualization? Do the
product descriptions and market-
ing materials that virtualization
vendors use make your head swim?
If so, know that you’re not alone.
A study focused on desktop and
server virtualization, which a group
of Cisco partner frms commission-
ed and released in July, revealed
that a “sizeable knowledge gap”
exits between what IT managers
and CIOs report about virtualization
and what everyday workers know
about virtualization.
With the exception of CIOs and
CTOs, it’s understandable there’s
unawareness regarding virtualiza-
tion among execs, says Charles King,
Pund-IT (www. pund-it. com) presi-
dent and principal analyst. For most
execs “IT is a ‘cost center’ that mostly
Virtualization 101
Understand The Contexts In Which Virtualization Is Used
keeps to itself, and the benefits of
virtualization are mainly mani-
fested in improved facilities effi-
ciency,” he says. Asking business
leaders about virtualization is akin
to asking them about the AC units
keeping their offces cool, he says.
Furthermore, unlike storage, for
example, virtualization isn’t a sin-
gular thing. “In fact, it isn’t a ‘thing’
at all; it’s an approach, a strategy,”
says John Tolly, The Tolly Group
(www.tolly.com) director of engineer-
ing. Because virtualization can be
applied to many technologies at
many levels, the many legitimate
uses of “virtualization” as a term
can cause confusion, he says. Still,
most workers have worked on or
used systems based on virtualization.
This transparency is a great aspect
of virtualization because workers
can use virtualization without know-
ing it, but it also contributes to the
diffculty of visualizing what virtual-
ization really is, Tolly says.
Tolly recommends thinking of vir-
tualization in tangible ways, such as
understanding that server consolida-
tion is a virtualization solution that
enables provisioning multiple log-
ical servers on one physical server.
“Then, the concept of logical mapped
to physical, which is the essence of
virtualization, can readily be applied
to other implementations of virtu-
alization, such as storage consolida-
tion,” he says.
Yet another source of confusion is
the industry messaging that vendors
and resellers use. Greg Schulz, Server
and StorageIO Group (www.storageio
.com) founder, says the messaging
has switched from “virtualization” to
“cloud,” “open source,” “big data,”
“software defned,” and other terms.
“There’s also a complacency factor
with some who think or believe that
16 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
couldn’t physically find it, how-
ever, if traveling to the data center
hosting the server. “It doesn’t exist
as a single piece of server hardware,
even though virtualization makes it
appear that way,” Tolly says.
Traditionally, one physical ma-
chine that’s running one OS with one
network interface and one storage
device would likely perform one
function or collection of functions
as dictated by installed software.
“Now, add virtualization into the
mix,” Tolly says. “You still have that
one physical server, but the hyper-
visor [OS] creates a sandbox, a logical
landscape, from which you can share
pooled hardware resources to dif-
ferent VMs [virtual machines].”
Sloan says more important than
how virtualization works is what
it enables, namely reducing capital
costs (through consolidation and
maximum utilization of hardware
assets) and improving agility and
speed of infrastructure. Rather
than ask what virtualization re-
quires from the business in terms
of resources, ask what the business
requires of virtualization. “It’s not
about ‘go out and get me some of
that virtualization thing,’ just like
it isn’t ‘go out and get me some of
that cloud,’” Sloan explains. For ex-
ample, an organization may choose
a Microsoft stack for communica-
tion and collaboration abilities.
“That comes first. Then comes the
question, ‘How can virtualization
make it cheaper, more efficient,
and more resilient to host these ser-
vices?’” he says.
Schulz says there is a perception
that virtualization’s only purpose is
to consolidate underutilized servers,
which causes some organizations
to overlook benefts available else-
where in terms of expanded flex-
ibility, agility, resiliency, mobility,
and more.
Al terati ons to software and
hardware are not the only changes
With virtualization there’s always
going to be physical infrastructure—
spinning disks, cables, silicon wafers,
circuits, switches—under it all. But the
physical doesn’t need to be changed,
confgured, [or] touched as often.
Change and confguration is managed
at that abstract level. Change at the
physical layer only happens when you
want to increase capacity.”
John Sloan
principal consulting analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
because they know about virtualiza-
tion, everybody else must also know
the basics, so the conversation moves
to a new topic,” he says.
Broadly put, virtualization is about
abstraction, or managing something
as a logical entity vs. a physical entity.
“That’s the beginning of the ‘vague-
ness’ problem right there,” says John
Sloan, Info-Tech Research Group
(www.infotech.com) research analyst.
Some people are more comfortable
with the abstract vs. the concrete, he
says. “With virtualization there’s al-
ways going to be physical infrastruc-
ture—spinning disks, cables, silicon
wafers, circuits, switches—under it
all,” he says. “But the physical doesn’t
need to be changed, configured,
touched as often. Change and con-
fguration is managed at that abstract
level. Change at the physical layer
only happens when you want to in-
crease capacity.”
Some people also equate virtu-
alization with certain vendors and
products, including VMware and
server machine virtualization, Sloan
says. The reality is there are other
virtualization types, though server
virtualization has had the most trac-
tion to date.
Definitions of virtualization tend
to be similar in scope. King considers
virtualization a process by which
a company can consolidate appli-
cations, workloads, data, etc. that
inhabit IT assets into centrally ac-
cessed/managed pools. There are
individual forms of virtualization
for asset classes (servers, storage
arrays, and network switches) and
for specific architectures within
those classes (x86-based servers
and mainframe systems, for ex-
ample), he says, but virtualization
plays critical roles in other popular
technologies. “Cloud computing
can’t exist without virtualization,
and ‘software-defined’ data centers
are simply those in which IT assets
have been uniformly virtualized,”
he says.
Essentially, virtualization enables
packing “more IT ‘stuff’ into fewer
systems,” King says. “While most
people consider these exercises in IT
consolidation to be the ‘low hanging
fruit’ of virtualization, it can also
spark deeper, more sophisticated
strategies and benefts.”
At the highest level, Tolly says
virtualization, or a virtualized re-
source, appears to exist in the
physical world but really doesn’t.
If logging into a cloud computing
provider and booting up a virtual
Windows server, for example, a
user would see what appears as a
real, physical Windows server. He
PC Today / October 2013 17
cross-technology aware. The days of
being the physical server, storage,
networking hardware, or software
person are declining. Same with
management,” he says. “If you’re
going to leverage converged tech-
nology, you also have to converge
your organization people, practices,
policies, and politics to break down
turf wars or barriers to becoming
more effective.”
Along with new management
responsibilities, virtualization can
produce other side effects. These
include a need for more memory in
servers, increased software licenses,
tiered or multiple hypervisors from
different vendors, failures in plan-
ning and managing capacity, man-
agement silos, and implementing
new policies and best practices.
Arguably, the most cited side
effect is virtual server sprawl. As
Sloan explains,virtualization can
make provisioning servers so easy
and fast, due process in terms of
management “is seen as too time-
consuming.” Thus, virtual machines
can be provisioned for short-term
proj ects and left running. “The
probl em of unmanaged server
sprawl just gets moved to the virtual
layer with unmanaged VM sprawl,”
he says.
Tolly says the biggest side effect
of virtualization is “basic ideology.”
Take a company that has 16 separate
servers hosting critical infrastruc-
ture, for example. Virtualization
enables containing all 16 on one
physical server. “Fantastic. This
is what virtualization was made
for, right?” Tolly says. However,
“you’re putting all your eggs in one
basket” and a hardware failure in
this new host and the subsequent in-
duced failure of the contained VMs
can be “disastrous,” he says. That
said, embedded services within a
given virtualization platform can
mitigate these types of events with
planning, he says. ●
businesses must plan for when em-
bracing virtualization. It also adds
new layers of IT management/
maintenance processes, King says,
“so administrators need appropriate
training/certification to cope with
those changes.” Positively, because
virtualization is typically used to con-
solidate IT infrastructures, “businesses
can often reduce the number of ad-
mins required to manage/maintain
data center facilities,” he says.
Another positive is that admin-
istrators using virtualization get
entirely new sets of management
tools that provide far more control
over their infrastructures, says Dick
Csaplar, Aberdeen Group (www.aber
deen.com) senior research analyst.
“They can even project which re-
sources will run out soonest or they
can optimize for speed or cost,” he
says. “End users gain higher ap-
plication uptimes and improved
performance. Server virtualiza-
tion is the stepping stone to the
private cloud, and this gives end
users even more control than the
old model.”
Typically, a virtualization archi-
tect is a very demanding job, Tolly
says. For traditional storage and
network architects, administrator
responsibilities typically end at the
point where physical connections
are made. This is merely the transi-
tion point from physical to virtual,
Tolly says. “It’s the role of the virtu-
alization architect to subdivide and
provision these physical resources
to the virtual infrastructure, which
requires an in-depth understanding
of not only the physical infrastruc-
ture available, but also the virtual
constructs. . . .”
Sloan says traditionally system
deployment in IT has been a be-
spoke process: Begin with a problem
and then design, develop, deploy,
and manage hardware and soft-
ware for a solution. “In a virtualized
environment there are still config-
uration, deployment, [and] man-
agement requirements, but more is
at the level of abstraction and less
with managing and configuring
physical assets,” he says. In net-
work virtualization, for example,
there’s still network topology and
zoning, but more is defined at the
abstract layer and it’s less about
pulling cable and managing phys-
ical ports. “At the physical layer it’s
more wire once [and you’re done],”
he says. “If a virtual machine moves
from one host to another, its vir-
tual port moves with it. Also, when
everything is an abstraction there
is the potential to manage all the
resources together and measure
Overall, virtualization requires
server administrators to know about
storage, networking, hardware, soft-
ware, data protection, OSes, and
more, Schulz says. Storage or net-
working administrators, meanwhile,
must “all become converged and
Storage or networking administrators,
meanwhile, must “all become con-
verged and cross-technology aware.
The days of being the physical server,
storage, networking hardware, or
software person are declining. Same
with management.”
Greg Schulz
founder, Te Server and StorageIO Group
18 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
What amount of privacy should an
employee using a corporate email ac-
count expect exactly? The answer to
this and other privacy-related issues in
the workplace likely depends greatly
on if you’re an employee or an em-
ployer. Today, employees use a mix
of apps, cloud services, and other new
technologies to get their work done, all
of which complicate privacy workplace
issues. In fact, the numerous contexts,
rules, and practices at play regarding
employee usage of such technologies
can make establishing, implementing,
and maintaining privacy policies
downright tricky. Still, while it may not
Privacy In The Workplace
Weighing The Expectations Of Employees & Employers
be a straightforward process, it is pos-
sible for employees and employers to
fnd common ground where each par-
ty’s privacy expectations are concerned.
Employers monitoring employee’s
activities isn’t anything new. Today,
though, the monitoring is happening
in new areas. The monitoring of em-
ployees’ social network usage, for ex-
ample, wasn’t even a consideration
years ago, but certainly is today.
Employees using cloud services to store
and share job-related information, as
well as workers using their personal
mobile devices to connect to company
networks, are also raising questions re-
garding the extent and appropriateness
of employee monitoring.
According to data from a 2012
Gartner (www.gartner.com) report, moni-
toring of employee behavior in digital
environments is increasing. Gartner
predicts 60% of corporations will enact
a formal program by 2015 covering
employees’ external social media use.
While companies have traditionally fo-
cused monitoring on internal infrastruc-
ture security-wise, the Gartner report
states, the consumerization of IT, cloud
services, and social media renders the
To gain broad support
among employees, enact
rules, training, disciplin-
ary actions, and other
facets of a privacy policy
slowly and with employee
Employees should check
their social media settings
and expect that their
employers have the same
access to posts and activi-
ties that any other general
users do.
Workers in the public
sector and/or with
access to sensitive data
should expect to have
fewer workplace privacy
rights than employees of
public companies.
Employees receiving BYOD-
like privileges in the workplace
should expect to give up some
degree of control in return, such
as having a device management
client installed on personal
devices to manage work data.
PC Today / October 2013 19
doing exactly that. There is no right
or wrong answer.”
Depending on the position, com-
pany, and industry involved, should
certain employees expect less pri-
vacy? Kane notes government
workers and those with access to sen-
sitive company and customer data
should expect and understand their
work lives may be trickier to navigate
in this regard than the work lives of
those in other professions. However,
there should be a formal conversa-
tion about this within the organiza-
tion “so that everyone is on the same
page.” Companies must simultane-
ously realize not every employee or
job function requires the same stan-
dards, he says, and the goal should
be to avoid as many draconian poli-
cies as possible.
Casper says that because em-
ployees spend weekends traveling for
work, taking calls late at night, etc.,
they should expect to have the ability
to conduct some private business in
the offce in return, and the privacy
should be reliable. The challenge is
the variation involved by country,
industry, and company size, he says.
Each organization should describe its
own approach to privacy and imple-
ment it consistently for managers,
clerks, employees, customers, etc. “A
Chinese mining company is different
from a U.S. bank is different from a
French doctor,” he says.
Siegel says that employees who use
company infrastructure for personal
reasons must decide what they’re
willing to share, because company
approach “inadequate for guiding de-
cisions regarding the security of enter-
prise information and work processes.”
Bob Siegel, privacy consultant with
Privacy Ref (www.privacyref.com), says
that on one hand, the ease at which
employees can adopt new technol-
ogies can provide them with more
agility to respond to changing busi-
ness needs. “Employees, as they al-
ways have, expect the flexibility to
use their favorite tools to accomplish
their tasks regardless of whether they
were supplied by the employer,” he
says. Conversely, employers still ex-
pect workers to take responsibility
for protecting data according to com-
pany standards. Where employees
see innovative ways to work easier,
he says, companies may see increased
risk in protecting proprietary and
personal information, he says.
Christian Kane, analyst at Forrester
Research (www.forrester.com), says al-
though a cloud service for consumers
may be free, the EULA (end user li-
cense agreement), “which few people
actually read,” may state that the
service owns and can use most data
stored and used via the service. In
other words, the cost of the “free”
service is access to users’ information.
As companies allow more cloud ser-
vices and BYOD usage, he says, “you
start to get into the tricky area around
privacy of corporate information po-
tentially being used in a service that
has access to it.” Even if nothing ma-
licious is occurring, many companies
at the least must get legal and risk
staff involved and evaluate usage.
Kane says the gray area with
BYOD is the question of “what is
personal usage, what is work usage,
and how to separate?” For compli-
ance and intellectual property rea-
sons, companies must ensure no
confdential data is placed in a cloud
service or into systems they can’t
audit and/or control. Unfortunately,
doing this as comprehensively as
possible requires complete con-
trol over devices, apps, and data,
he says, something most companies
don’t have for mobile devices today.
“With BYOD, companies don’t really
want to mess with employee data if
they can help it, and those issues cer-
tainly haven’t been settled in court
yet,” he says.
Rob Enderle, principal analyst at
Enderle Group (www. enderlegroup
.com), says another issue concerning
BYOD is that the classes of devices in-
volved are “comparatively unsecure.”
Overall, “any privacy expectation on
any device using company resources
is mostly likely a fantasy,” he says.
“[Unless] the employee operates with
this in mind, they are less likely to
make a career-ending mistake.”
Privacy related to employee usage
of social networks is another touchy
area. Siegel says overall employers
have the same access to employees’
postings as anyone else, but even if
an employee restricts access with pri-
vacy settings, they shouldn’t assume
“someone else will not pass it on to
the employer.”
Carsten Casper, Gartner research
vice president, says that whatever
a company’s approach to privacy,
the company should communicate it
clearly. “If the company wants em-
ployees to respect customers’ pri-
vacy, he says, the company should
respect employees’ privacy. “And
if you decide that something is off
limits, then don’t turn a blind eye
on the manager who ignores these
limits,” he says. Social networks are
just another communication option,
he says. “In my personal opinion,
monitoring of employee activity on
social networks is a no-no. But I also
know that many U.S. companies are
“With BYOD, companies don’t really want
to mess with employee data if they can
help it, and those issues certainly haven’t
been settled in court yet.”
Christian Kane
analyst, Forrester Research
20 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
delineated organizations, such as a
health care provider. He suggests en-
acting policies, rules, training, enforce-
ment, disciplinary actions, etc. slowly
and with employee participation to
gain broad support.
Siegel recommends defning a pri-
vacy policy at a high level, providing
direction on what information should
be protected, and identifying protec-
tion requirements for that informa-
tion. Leave the specifcs for usage of
technologies, products, and services to
supporting documents, such as stan-
dards, guidelines, and procedures, he
says. “This will insulate the privacy
policy from technology changes,” he
says. For example, policy might allow
using a personal device if antivirus
protection and data encryption is
used. A supporting standard would
defne organizational requirements for
AV protection and encryption. Thus,
as encryption standards change or
new antivirus vendors are approved,
privacy policy isn’t impacted.
Ultimately, Kane says, companies
must trust that employees won’t put
corporate data where it shouldn’t be,
and employees must trust companies
won’t delete personal data. “It doesn’t
mean this is the solution for every-
thing, but to navigate the future of
computing you have to understand
who you are trusting with what and
the implications of that,” he says.
“It means shared responsibility, and
that’s a scary thing for some and lib-
eration for others, but no matter which
way you look at it, it’s happening.” ●
infrastructure was implemented to
support the business, which has re-
quirements, laws, and other standards
to comply with. “If the employer is
transparent about their monitoring
practices to protect personal informa-
tion, then an employee can make an
informed decision about what per-
sonal information and services they
access,” he says.
From a business perspective, Kane
says, employees who fear being
snooped on and are locked down
don’t have the time or the means to
think outside the box. While certain
situations require a trade-off, fnding
a privacy balance shouldn’t be a one-
sided decision. “If companies trust
their employees to be reasonable
adults, there can be an open dialogue
about policy and how to balance that
based on the employees’ needs and
the company’s needs.” Employees, for
example, should expect the company
won’t have complete access to per-
sonal information on personal devices
but should understand the company
will have some monitoring tools for
the device and corporate data and em-
ployees won’t violate company policy.
What, if anything, should be off
limits to employers to monitor, re-
strict, or ban? The answer mainly de-
pends on local laws and the business
involved, Kane says. Ultimately, com-
panies must determine how to pri-
oritize and classify the type of access
involved. Understanding what data
is involved and which workers are
trying to access it provides a clearer
idea of how to create policy, he says.
Companies that classify large chunks
of data as “top secret,” however, may
stife employee productivity and en-
ablement, he says.
The fip side of the privacy coin is
what entitlements should employers
reasonably expect? One notion is that
to gain more BYOD-like privileges,
employees should expect to give
something back, such as agreeing
to the use of a MDM (mobile device
management) solution. Siegel says
employers should expect they can ac-
cess private information employees
publicly reveal or willingly supply.
Casper says if there’s a concrete suspi-
cion an employee is violating the law,
privacy rights will be lifted. “That’s
the case in all countries, no matter
how privacy-friendly they may ap-
pear,” he says. With judicial oversight,
or oversight from an employee rep-
resentative, he says, IT can “monitor
communications and search through
private data stores, just like the police
would do with a search warrant.”
Another employer concern is em-
ployees knowingly violate security
policies. Given that, is it even pos-
sible to create, implement, and main-
tain straightforward privacy policies?
Kane says while each new service
and use case presents a new chal-
lenge, starting small and evolving
policy as each new issue surfaces will
strengthen the policy and approach.
Consistent communication during
the process will also strengthen the
worker-company relationship, and
such trust is “incredibly impor-
tant to the success of the project,” he
says. If employees doubt the com-
pany has their best interests at heart,
he says, “there’s no way they will
comply completely.”
Technologies are evolving quickly
and our societies are playing catch-
up, Casper says. Shaping expectations
takes time, and “only in the end will
you be able to write them down in a
policy,” he says. Casper believes es-
tablishing straightforward privacy
approach is only possible in clearly
“[Overall], any privacy expectation on any
device using company resources is mostly
likely a fantasy. [Unless] the employee
operates with this in mind, they are less
likely to make a career-ending mistake.”
Rob Enderle
principal analyst, Enderle Group
PC Today / October 2013 21
With more data comes more security
and compliance responsibility. It’s the
nature of doing business in today’s dig-
ital world. And if you’ve ever looked
at how many security solutions are
available in the market, you may get
overwhelmed by just how much pro-
tection you need. There are frewalls,
antivirus and anti-malware suites, net-
work access solutions, and much more.
The sheer number of available options
not only makes it diffcult to determine
what exactly needs to be protected; it
Security Information
& Event Management
Use Data From Multiple Endpoints To Prevent Or Respond To Attacks
also makes management, detection, and
resolution more diffcult.
SIEM (security information and event
management) solutions can help ease
the headache for your IT security team
by gathering information from all of
your security components and ana-
lyzing alerts to determine where po-
tential vulnerabilities are or where an
attack might occur. If this type of solu-
tion sounds familiar to you, it may be
because SIEM actually comprises two
separate technologies: SIM (security
information management) and SEM (se-
curity event management).
Jessica Ireland, consulting analyst at
Info-Tech Research Group (www.infotech
.com) says security information is gen-
erally any information that makes the
events within your organization more
visible. These events may not neces-
sarily be full-on attacks, but rather sus-
picious emails, activity, or malware.
A SIEM solution effectively brings
SIM and SEM “together under the idea
of increased overall visibility into your
SIEM combines security
information and event
management to give
you a better view into
what’s happening on
your devices and
SIEM gathers information
from mobile devices,
desktops, and servers as
well as antivirus software,
frewalls, and more to
help detect incidents and
prevent attacks.
There are many benefts
of using a SIEM solu-
tion, but it can present
staffng and employee
experience challenges
as well as increase your
security costs.
Depending on the size of your
business, you can fully deploy
and manage a SIEM in-house,
have an MSP manage your solu-
tion off-site at desired times, or
host your entire implementation
in the cloud.
22 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
security data and potentially detect
patterns. SIEM can also include com-
patibility with the Unifed Compliance
Framework, which is designed to cen-
tralize all of your compliance respon-
sibilities and make it easier to ensure
your data meets the regulatory stan-
dards of your industry. As long as you
do your research, you should be able
to fnd a SIEM system that integrates
well with your existing security so-
lutions and will help you meet your
compliance needs.
Although SIEM may appear to be
a no-brainer for any company, that
isn’t necessarily the case. SIEM solu-
tions are more complicated than most
security-related systems, and they
require quite a bit of attention from
a dedicated IT staff with the proper
level of expertise. To get the best value
from SIEM, McCloskey says you need
“people who understand what they’re
seeing as these correlated alerts come
up and are very good and diligent
about chasing those alerts down.”
Those same employees will also have
networks, branch offices, and more,”
says Ireland. And visibility is some-
thing she says many organizations lack
due to today’s “unpredictable threat
landscape.” A solid SIEM solution can
not only give you better insight into
your company’s security state, but it
can also give you a leg up on outsiders
that want to attack your business and
steal sensitive information.
Where other security solutions are
designed to protect specific parts of
your organization, such as your en-
tire network or an individual desktop,
a SIEM solution is a “more advanced
method of log collection,” says Ireland.
Smartphones, tablets, laptops, desktops,
servers, and networking components
generate information, which can some-
times be related to security incidents. A
SIEM solution collects that information,
runs it through an analytical flter, de-
termines where threats are most likely
to occur, and helps pinpoint potential
vulnerabilities in a given device or piece
of software. In addition to gathering
information from these devices, a SIEM
system can also obtain log information
from your antivirus software, frewalls,
and other security solutions. In essence,
a SIEM solution isn’t meant to replace
individual security systems as much
as complement them and make them
more effective.
James McCloskey, senior research an-
alyst at Info-Tech Research Group, says
that in the past, SIEM solutions were
often “targeted at the largest, most secu-
rity-focused enterprises,” but they have
“defnitely been coming down-market”
recently. Smaller organizations would
usually only opt for a log manage-
ment solution, but as SIEM technology
matures, it should be a fit for more
companies, as long as they have the staff
to support it. This is particularly good
news because a SIEM solution can ben-
eft companies of all sizes.
McCloskey uses the example of a
“low and slow” hacker attack where
an intrusion detection system may see
that something is happening but won’t
trigger an alarm. Then, as that hacker
digs deeper into the network, he may
start making password attempts to
break into a desktop or server to gain
access to valuable information. Without
a SIEM solution these two events may
be perceived as separate, and if they
aren’t specifically outlined as threats
within each individual security solu-
tion, then the hacker may be able to
get through. However, if you put a
SIEM solution in place that is capable
of looking at these alerts, correlating
the information, and determining that
a security event is taking place, then
you should have time to react to the
problem and prevent potential damage
or data theft.
In addition to log management and
data correlation features, some SIEM
solutions also have more advanced
tools, such as “forensic analysis sup-
port, which is the ability to create
custom data queries.” This feature
makes it possible to dig deeper into
“We’re even starting to see a bit of move-
ment of some of the biggest security ser-
vice providers into fully hosted or cloud-
based security services, as well. Do I need
to pay for my own SIEM on-premise and
pay for the service provider to watch it?
Or can I subscribe to a SIEM service from
this MSP, pump my log information out
to them in the cloud, and then they deal
with everything there? There are alterna-
tives there and all of these are presenting
different options that provide fexibility
for both costs and resources. That makes
these more advanced tools a little more
feasible for smaller organizations.”
James McCloskey
senior research analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
PC Today / October 2013 23
react quickly if a security incident is
detected. But for larger companies that
still want some control over the SIEM
solution, a 24/7 approach may not be
the right ft.
“The key here is that the larger the
organization, the more events will
be detected by the SIEM, simply
because there’s more activity on a
broader network, so you may be able
to justify a larger internal staff pres-
ence,” says McCloskey. “Then, we
do see other circumstances where a
managed service provider is pro-
viding the after-hours and overfow
relief. So, maybe you have your in-
ternal resource from 9 to 5, but from
5 to 9 and on the weekends, every-
thing is being forwarded out to an
MSP that will page out if there’s a se-
rious event that needs attention after-
hours. Those models are much more
available with managed security ser-
vice providers.”
In addition to implementing a SIEM
solution on-site and managing it either
internally or externally via a managed
service provider, McCloskey says that
“we’re starting to see a bit of move-
ment of some of the biggest security
service providers into fully hosted or
cloud-based services.” In such an ar-
rangement, the organization wouldn’t
have to deploy or manage its own
on-premise SIEM system, but instead
“subscribe to a SIEM service from an
MSP, pump [its] log information out
to them in the cloud, and then have
them deal with everything there,”
says McCloskey.
This type of cloud-based SIEM solu-
tion would once again serve smaller
organizations by making “these more
advanced tools a little more feasible,”
McCloskey says. So, whether you want
to fully deploy and manage on-site,
receive help from third-party experts
when you need it, or fully off-load the
responsibility to a cloud-based service
provider, there are more opportunities
than ever to beef up your security pres-
ence with a SIEM solution. ●
to “identify those alerts as real events
that need to be dealt with or classify
them as false positives that can be ig-
nored in the future.”
Ireland agrees, adding that “organi-
zations need to put in the work to un-
derstand what an investment in SIEM
will mean. Financially, it’s expensive.
In terms of resources, it will add re-
sponsibility to existing employees or
may require the hiring of additional
personnel.” Further, she explains that
once SIEM is implemented, organiza-
tions need to be prepared to deal with
and respond to the increased visibility
of their networks.
Ireland says that in an ideal world,
a SIEM solution would have “24/7
monitoring,” but “most organizations
don’t have the personnel to fill that
role.” For larger organizations, a fully
managed in-house SIEM solution may
be necessary due to the sheer amount
of data and network traffc moving in
and out of a company. But for small
and medium-sized companies, it sim-
ply may not be feasible to support
such an implementation. Fortunately,
there are many ways to implement a
SIEM solution and some of those op-
tions don’t require a fully staffed data
center full of veteran security analysts.
To achieve 24/7 coverage of your
SIEM system, McCloskey says you
would need “three people to cover
the weekdays with three different
shifts of eight hours each.” Then, you
need “three more people to cover the
weekend shift and any sick time or
vacation time,” he says. If you don’t
already have an established security
team in-house, you may be looking
at hiring at least five or six people
up front just to properly run your
SIEM solution.
For that reason, many companies
look at MSPs (managed service pro-
viders) as a way to have their cake and
eat it too. Instead of hoping you can
properly monitor your SIEM solution
during regular business hours with
one person or a small team, you can
pay for the services of a third-party
provider that will monitor your SIEM
solution every hour of every day and
be able to respond to alerts and no-
tify the correct personnel in a timely
manner. McCloskey says that using
MSPs can “bring down your costs of
operating a SIEM system 24/7 to a
quarter of what you would be paying
to manage it internally.”
Of course, a full-scale managed ser-
vice strategy isn’t necessarily a ft for all
companies. Smaller businesses may like
this option because they will only have
to worry about the SIEM solution if the
MSP detects a potential problem and
forwards the information. This opens
up time for IT employees to work on
other projects and be in a position to
“Monitoring is key. SIEM can run on its
own, but to get the most value out of it,
you need to have someone monitoring
it to . . . be aware of what’s going on in
an organization and to respond if some-
thing does occur. The technology alone
won’t protect your organization. It has
to be a combination of technology and
Jessica Ireland
consulting analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
24 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
Businesses of all sizes have access to
nearly endless amounts of data due to
the ubiquity of business and consumer
devices as well as the relatively low
cost of mass storage solutions. And
while it’s a positive to have so much
information to pull from, it can be dif-
ficult to gain any insight into your
customer base, or potential customer
base, without the right tools for the
job. BI (business intelligence) solutions
are designed to not only help you sort
Maximum Business
Plan Ahead & Develop Long-Term Strategies To Get The Most Out Of BI
through large datasets, but to also use
that data to make informed business
decisions that will impact the future of
your company.
“The idea of having business intel-
ligence is that it is a business enabler
and innovator within the business,”
says Daniel Ko, senior analyst at Info-
Tech Research Group (www.infotech
.com). “By extracting a lot of informa-
tion and insights from the data, you
come up with new ideas for the busi-
ness. BI is kind of like a gold pros-
pector. It is the one prospecting for
gold and telling the business where to
fnd it and what to do with it.”
The gold prospector comparison is
apt, because the information you mine
using BI solutions could help you gain
more customers, which will in turn
lead to larger profts. There are many
different BI solutions out there with a
wide variety of feature sets and there
are even more potential use cases for
Business intelligence
solutions offer many
helpful features, including
information delivery, data
discovery, predictive mod-
eling, location-based data,
and much more.
Match your BI solution to
the needs of your employ-
ees, maintain an ongoing
employee engagement
program, and move care-
fully through the imple-
mentation process.
BI solutions can be used
to increase revenue
and improve customer
interaction, but they can
also be used to inform
important decision-
making processes.
It’s nearly impossible to name
every possible use case for busi-
ness intelligence, and there are
always new potential uses on
the horizon. Research the tech-
nology and fnd new ways to
make it ft your specifc needs.
PC Today / October 2013 25
aren’t, business users won’t get the
full beneft.”
Ko agrees that business intel-
ligence requires a careful approach
and slower implementation to ensure
you’re only paying for solutions that
are actually helpful and perform the
way you expect. For that reason, he
recommends moving forward with
BI “one step at a time,” because your
employees “need some time to play
around with it, become comfortable
with it, and know about the capabili-
ties and limitations.” This exploratory
period will give you and your em-
ployees insight into how the BI solu-
tion actually works and best way to
fnd the appropriate data.
But the important thing to realize
about BI is that it’s not a destination,
but rather an ongoing project that re-
quires consistent attention. “Rather
than just an individual project that
starts and fnishes when the deploy-
ment is up and running, [business
intelligence] is managed over time,”
says Sallam. “Incorporating key stake-
holders across the organization, and
having an executive level sponsor that
says “fact-based decision making in
this company is really important,” has
to be a key part of your strategy.” She
also recommends implementing an
“ongoing user enablement” program
that will “help users get more and
more out of the tools as they use them
over time.” You have to go beyond the
businesses to take advantage of. The
key is to determine what decisions are
most pressing within you organiza-
tion and then use the right type of BI
solution to answer your questions.
Business intelligence covers a wide
breadth of potential activities, but one
of the most basic features included
in many BI solutions is information
delivery. Rita Sallam, research vice
president at Gartner (www.gartner
.com), says that information delivery
includes things like “basic reporting,
production reporting, dashboards,
and mobile BI.” But she also says that
she would include ad-hoc queries in
that list because some BI solutions
“give you a way to create your own
reports based on a model that’s al-
ready been developed by somebody
in IT.” This makes it possible to use BI
to grab specifc information from data-
sets that’s relevant to existing business
processes. And it also opens the door
for integration into your applications
and productivity tools, so that you can
pool or pull information from soft-
ware like Microsoft Word or Excel.
Beyond simple information delivery,
other major BI features include data
discovery and analysis. Sallam says
that visual-based data discovery, for in-
stance, gives business users more capa-
bility to explore business data without
necessarily having to go to IT. Instead
of putting in a request for a specific
piece of data, you’re able to go into
your business intelligence solution, tell
it what you’re looking for, and locate
it quickly and easily. Sallam says this
ease of use is important because in-
teractive data visualization tools “are
really intended more for a business an-
alyst that may not have a high degree
of technical skill,” rather than a more
sophisticated user that “has to do more
complex types of analysis and more
advanced calculations.”
Another example of a feature that is
particularly helpful to businesses with
traveling salespeople is geo-spatial or
location intelligence, which Sallam
says goes “hand-in-hand with mobile
capabilities where analytics includes
a location component.” Location in-
telligence can be used for simple use
cases, such as fnding a movie within
a two-mile radius of your current lo-
cation, or it can be used to “deliver
an offer to a customer” at their place
of business, she says. Location-based
data can also be used to create de-
mographic maps that can help you
determine the income per capacity,
household income, and other informa-
tion about customers in a certain area.
This could be particularly helpful for
retailers that are trying to determine
“the best place to locate a new store,”
Sallam says.
Knowing just how many types of
business intelligence solutions are
available, you’ll quickly realize how
important it is to focus on what’s rel-
evant to you and your employees.
“Before you ever get the features and
functions or even select a vendor,
companies really need to work in
partnership with their business users,
the people who have analytic skills,
and the IT team that needs to sup-
port the data side of things,” says
Sallam. Once you have established
your organization’s BI needs, you can
search for tools that are “mapped to
user requirements, because if they
“The key ingredient for a successful BI im-
plementation is that there’s a partnership
between business users, or people that
will actually be using the tools, and the
IT team or whoever is selecting or buying
the tools. It’s a thorough understanding
of what the users need to do, what they’re
trying to achieve, and what decisions
they’re trying to optimize.”
Rita Sallam
research vice president, Gartner
26 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
fuel costs, which was important due
to their dependence on diesel fuel.
The company plans to expand its use
of BI by taking advantage of the pre-
dictive analysis capabilities and using
mined data to improve other opera-
tions within the organization.
The use cases for business intel-
ligence solutions are essentially
limitless. Sallam says that some or-
ganizations and government agencies
use business intelligence for home-
land security purposes, to predict
and prevent fraud, and more. She
adds that even local police depart-
ments use BI to “analyze data, map
crime incidents, and use predictive
models to anticipate where crime is
likely to occur in a particular city and
then allocate police resources to pro-
actively minimize crime.”
“There are a lot of interesting use
cases emerging beyond the core,
meat-and-potato BI of measuring
what happened in the past,” Sallam
says. “Analytics can be used across
pretty much every industry and
every business process. With any ver-
tical or any industry that you find,
there are new ways to incorporate
new types of data and be able to op-
timize the insights that we get out
of the data to reduce costs, increase
revenue, develop business models, or
fnd new ways to innovate.” ●
initial vendor training to make sure
employees take full advantage of BI
Sales and customer support are
two huge use cases for BI that many
companies could take advantage of to
varying degrees. Sallam says that one
potential use is to perform a “root
cause analysis of why sales are down
in a particular region.” Then, based
on that information, you can find
the root cause and “put strategies in
place to address the situation and
ultimately measure if things have im-
proved or not.”
This leads into the social data
mining capabilities of BI solutions as
well. For instance, if you’re looking
to increase sales in a certain region,
you can “use your customer’s his-
torical transaction data combined
with demographic data, social infu-
ence, sentiment data, and location”
to build a more effective strategy
and “be able to recommend a next
best offer to that person.” You can
pinpoint specifc people using social
media sites or other avenues and spe-
cifcally target your marketing efforts,
including coupons or special offers,
in order to drive up sales. And be-
cause you have so much information
about that customer already, you can
use it to improve the handling of cus-
tomer service requests whether they
arrive via phone into a call center or
via the Web. With BI, that data can
be available in almost any application
and right at the fingertips of your
There are many other use cases
that may not directly lead to sales,
but can help your company save
money. Sallam says that the indus-
trial sector is particularly interesting
because it is using business intelli-
gence for predictive maintenance. It
uses BI to “collect data from different
instruments or machines and then,
based on the analysis of that data,”
it can “more proactively recommend
when a particular piece of machinery
is likely to fail.” Then, rather than
that equipment failing at the least
opportune moment, workers can per-
form “preventative maintenance to
optimize the asset life and minimize
any downtime.”
Ko points out two companies—one
in the health care industry and an-
other in the transportation industry—
that have used BI in interesting ways.
The health care company was having
difficulty getting physicians to use
contracted products because they
simply couldn’t provide them with
specifc data. This company decided
to pilot a BI solution before fully de-
ploying it and found out they could
encourage the use of contracted prod-
ucts by showing physicians how
other, non-contracted products cost
the organization 10 times more than
the contracted alternative. According
to the study, the company was able to
achieve annual cost savings that were
six times that of their BI investment
in addition to being able to make
much faster decisions based on more
easily accessible data.
The transportation company was
looking for ways to improve opera-
tion effciencies as well as to have ac-
cess to more data for decision-making
purposes. This enterprise used a BI
solution with a corporate dashboard
as well as budget and demand fore-
casting to achieve a 1% to 2% drop in
“We are seeing trends of generalization
and customization. Generalization is
where you have a bunch of data, but you
don’t know which customer it belongs to.
You can extract a lot of information and
insight from that. With customization,
you know that I purchased a tablet a year
ago or that I upgraded my smartphone a
year ago.”
Daniel Ko
senior analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
PC Today / October 2013 27
Most companies only hope their
business will grow to the point
that network expansion becomes
an absolute necessity, because that
indicates a need to accommodate
a greater number of employees or
customers. But network expansion
can be a messy process with com-
plex implementation and costly
equipment purchases. Never mind
the fact that knowing how much
capacity your company will need
now and in the future is an equally
difficult proposition.
We’ll identify some of the fac-
tors you will want to consider when
starting the expansion process,
Network Expansion
Building Out Infrastructure & Meeting Capacity Needs
outline methods for improving net-
work effciency, and help you decide
whether now is really the right time
for expansion.
Before you start adding greater
bandwidth or more access points to
your network, determine whether
a full expansion or refresh is what’s
needed. In some cases, network prob-
lems result from inefficiency rather
than lack of capacity.
“Networks are actually underuti-
lized in most companies and they’re
not run very efficiently, because
everything is very manually done,”
says Andre Kindness, principal ana-
lyst at Forrester Research (www.forrester
.com). Kindness says that the solution
for some companies is to look into
“transforming their network as opposed
to expanding it” and not necessarily
adding more bandwidth, but instead
“changing the way that networking is
being done.”
But in order to get a clear indica-
tion of whether you have efficiency
or capacity issues, you need to have
some way of digging into the net-
work and gathering crucial informa-
tion. This is where an NMS (network
management system) comes into play,
Speak to employees
about their network
experiences and gather
historical data in order to
better plan out a success-
ful network expansion.
Network management
systems and other
monitoring solutions
provide an in-depth
view of access points
and traffc.
Keep expansion-related costs
in mind but focus more on
lowering operational costs
through improved effciency
rather than upfront hardware
and software purchases.
Do only what is
necessary to get you
through the next year
and wait for software-
defned networking to
hit its stride.
28 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
according to Mark Tauschek, lead re-
search analyst at Info-Tech Research
Group (www.infotech.com). “You should
have solid visibility into what’s actu-
ally happening on you network, how
much bandwidth is being consumed,
and what kind of traffic is account-
ing for the bulk of your consumption,”
he says.
With an NMS in place, you will
often discover that intense, but not
necessarily business-oriented traffc
is causing your waning bandwidth.
For instance, YouTube or peer-to-
peer networking traffic can actu-
ally “drown out that higher priority
traffc” and distort the data related
to your network utilization, ac-
cording to Tauschek. But if, after
you install an NMS or otherwise
gather data from your network and
still have issues, there could be more
underlying problems that need to
be addressed.
Perhaps the best way to pinpoint
specific problems and potential
solutions is to speak directly with
your workforce. In most cases, em-
ployees are not shy about sharing
problems they have with the net-
work and how poor performance
affects their productivity.
“It can be anyone from the stor-
age personnel complaining that
the network isn’t reacting to what
they need [to people complain-
ing when they] bring in their own
devices, use the network, and can’t
connect to it and get the informa-
tion they need, ” says Kindness.
“Complaints are the major impetus
for a lot of change within compa-
nies,” he adds. “If they can’t get
to the appl i cati ons or servi ces
they need, then you’re causing the
“We need to change our mindset from
thinking about components to really about
system designs and architectures. It’s just
like a car. You can put a new spark plug in
there, but if something else is wrong, your
car isn’t going to do anything. We need
to think outside of IT, about the world
around us, and how we design
Andre Kindness
principal analyst, Forrester Research
“The size of the company, or at least
the number of network nodes, certainly
impacts the complexity of a network. It
doesn’t necessarily make it more diffcult
to expand incrementally, but it certainly
makes it more complex when you get into
larger refreshes or signifcant expansions.”
Mark Tauschek
lead research analyst, Info-Tech Research Group
If you decide your network is in need of expansion, the next step is to develop an
expansion plan before making the leap to purchasing software or equipment.
business to not perform the way it
needs to.”
With this feedback taken into
consideration, you will then be in a
much better position to assess how
the network is actually working
for empl oyees, ri ght whatever
wrongs may exist on the network,
and improve your overall busi-
ness effciency. Kindness says that
by having your networking team
venture out and “understand what
the business needs,” they can make
sure that the expansion plans are
“in alignment with where the busi-
ness wants to go.”
But still, it’s important to re-
member that “the network touches
everything, ” including not only
users, but applications and devices
as well, says Kindness. You can’t
simply look at your hardware for
upgrade opportunities that will an-
swer the complaints of your work-
force. You have to determine how
your current network, as well as
any changes you may make, will af-
fect the performance of computers,
smartphones, tablets, and other de-
vices. After all, you don’t want to
fx one problem only to create half a
dozen more.
If you decide your network is in
need of expansion, the next step is
PC Today / October 2013 29
to take advantage of emerging solu-
tions right now” if they’re dealing
with top-of-rack expansion, most
other companies should simply
focus on “trying to keep the wheels
on” and do only what is necessary to
get through the next year.
“There are a lot of things going on
where I would say if you need to ex-
pand your network today, you might
want to just be mindful of where
you’re expanding,” says Tauschek.
“If, for instance, you’re running out
of capacity in a switching closet
that’s serving end users, just add one
switch if you have to right now.”
If you’re wondering why Tauschek
is hesitant to say companies should
go full-bore with network expan-
sion, you need not look any further
than SDN (software-defined net-
working). Right now, most compa-
nies have to go from switch to switch
or from router to router to make
policy changes or affect the overall
performance of the network. It’s a
time-consuming process many IT ad-
ministrators have become accustomed
to, but it won’t have to be that way for
much longer.
SDN will help centralize control
for different access points in your
network and make network adjust-
ments much quicker and easier.
And if you can wait until 2014,
according to Tauschek, SDN and
other emerging technologies will
build on their solid foundations and
“really take off.”
“I think a year from now, we’ll
be in a position to take advantage
of SDN and emerging technology
[in cost-effective ways that will]
not only simplify the refresh and
expansion, but the ongoing day to
day managing of the network,” says
Tauschek. “We’re talking about
performance improvements and
greater visibility into the behavior
of the network. In the next year to
18 months, you’re going to have
a very different view of how you
can expand or refresh your network
cost-effectively.” ●
aspect during implementation. But
instead of focusing on the hardware
and other upfront costs, Kindness
says that companies should place a
higher priority on operational costs.
“Change in itself will always have a
cost, but it’s only a blip, because you
typically keep infrastructure, on av-
erage, for anywhere between fve to
eight years.”
If you’ve gone through the plan-
ning process and chosen equipment
and software that will serve you
over the long term, Kindness says
that people “will be
blown away” by the
actual costs. One way
to make sure that you
are “blown away” in
a positive way is by
going beyond the initial
investment and fnding
solutions that can make
your network more eff-
cient. “Most of the cost
is on the operational
side,” says Kindness.
“Initially, people look
at the hardware cost,”
but, he adds, it’s best to
look at the costs of the
management and moni-
toring solutions that
come with the overall solution.
“There’s always an overall orches-
tration package that runs the entire
infrastructure,“ Kindness says, “but
the thing that people really want to
look at is that solution makes my
operation much more effcient.” And
if you can do that, you will save a
significant amount of money over
the next few years rather than trying
to cut corners upfront.
Even if your company has all the
telltale signs of an overburdened
network and you’re well prepared
for large-scale network expansion,
Tauschek warns that now might not
be the best time. He says while data
centers “might be in a better position
to develop an expansion plan be-
fore making the leap to purchas-
ing software or equipment. And
using the data gathered from your
NMS or other monitoring solution
is absolutely essential throughout
the process.
“You want to have some historical
[information about] the growth of the
data on the network to have a sense
of how much you expect traffic to
grow . . . over the next two to three
years,” says Tauschek. “If I’m going
to throw significant money and re-
sources at a network
expansion, I don’t want
to j ust meet the ca-
pacity I have today, be-
cause six months from
now I’m going to be
in the same position.”
This all leads back to
under s t andi ng t he
specific needs of your
company. As you plan
to build out your net-
work and expand ca-
pacity, you need to look
at how “each business
unit uses that network
differently, from HR to
manufacturing to mar-
keting,” says Kindness.
Luckily for companies, vendors
are starting to break their solutions
into suitable fragments that accom-
modate more segmented markets.
Therefore companies can move away
from “best of breed solutions” and
instead focus on those that “ft the
business the best,” adds Kindness.
He uses the example of a hotel that
needs to provide access to many
guests, compared to a manufac-
turing plant that doesn’t require that
same type of access allowances. And
by fnding a solution that fts your
environment, you can save money in
the process.
When it comes to building out in-
frastructure of any kind, sticking to a
strict budget will always be a crucial
. . . In the next
year to 18
months, you’re
going to have a
different view
of how you can
expand or refresh
your network
30 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
If your company is like many others,
it might not be giving ITAM (IT asset
management) the attention it de-
serves. SMBs typically make ITAM a
priority only when major upgrades
roll around or during lean fnancial
times when cost cutting and/or ef-
ficiency improvements are most
sought after. An arguably more im-
portant point, however, is that consis-
tently performing rigorous ITAM can
lead to numerous desirable benefts
and help avoid many risks.
ITAM is a multifaceted endeavor
but generally boils down to this:
accounting for all the company’s IT
hardware and software assets by
IT Asset Management
Explore ITAM & How It Relates To Your Business
collecting and managing data related
to ordering, delivery, location, age,
cost, warranties, service, maintenance,
compliance, licenses, patches, up-
grades, support, and more. According
to Sandi Conrad, WCO (World Class
Operations) practice lead with Info-
Tech Research Group (www.infotech
.com), ITAM provides the support to
manage vendors and contracts, sup-
port security efforts, and cut costs,
“sometimes by as much as 25 to 50%.”
Patricia Adams, research director
at Gartner (www.gartner.com), breaks
asset management into three com-
ponents: financial, contractual, and
inventory. The financial component
details the hardware/software asset
purchased and its depreciation,
residual value, lifecycle, and so on.
Associated terms and conditions,
warranties, and entitlements fall into
the contractual category. And the in-
ventory component entails the person
using the asset, what it looks like, and
its location. By centralizing these data
sources, Adams says, a company can
identify related risks, whether it has
over- or underbought, asset relocation
possibilities, and more.
Organizations that have embraced
ITAM and related training “have
realized huge savings in their IT in-
vestment, as well as compliance-
violation avoidance,” says Keith
Rupnik, ITAM specialist with the
International Association of IT Asset
Managers (www. iaitam. org). Larger
ITAM involves accounting
for all of a company IT assets
through specialized collection
and management of data.
Many organizations cur-
rently do a poor job at
ITAM, for reasons that often
include lack of resources.
Awareness of the importance
of ITAM has increased, in
part because software audits
have increased.
Outsourcing ITAM
functions to third-
party providers is
an option.
PC Today / October 2013 31
organizations, he says, have saved
millions. “For SMBs, significant
savings relative to the revenue is
possible, but also major effciencies
gained in the productivity of their
For all possible benefits, general
sentiment is that SMBs currently do
poorly at ITAM. Clive Longbottom,
analyst and founder of Quocirca
(www.quocirca.com), says most asset
management is done in spread-
sheets “that become rapidly out-
dated” and “don’t reflect what’s
really out there.” Quocirca research
has found that even large organi-
zations struggle, he says, as there
is an average +/-20% spread when
comparing the total number of
servers they believe they own vs. the
number they actually own. Overall,
he says, companies view the cost of
implementing a proper ITAM system
as avoidable, while IT departments
don’t tend to see ITAM’s value at a
business level.
Generally speaking, staffing re-
quirements for IT teams are driven
by business needs, Conrad says,
“and there’s nothing sexy to ITAM
that’s perceived to beneft the busi-
ness.” Further, ITAM requires skills
similar to administrative or account-
ing but with an understanding of
what IT needs in terms of software,
equipment, timing, license agree-
ments, and contracts. Additionally,
depending on the company, ITAM
can be a full-time endeavor. Many
companies simply lack the resources
to support this.
Often, ITAM gets overlooked.
Executives handle so many other
priorities daily, Adams says, that
asset management isn’t something
at the front of their minds. “When
budgets get cut, then they want to
make sure they’re focused on how
to use things effectively,” she says.
Adams notes, however, that because
lean times have continued globally
since 2008, “we have seen a different
for past unpaid usage. If audited by
a compliance organization, however,
a company could face “fnes of up to
three times the retail price for each
license out of compliance,” she says.
Further, companies buying software
in response to audits typically lose
some negotiation power along with
the opportunity to analyze installs vs.
actual usage, which can increase the
cost to reach compliance.
Despite increased audits, Conrad
says, many companies still aren’t
dedicating resources to ITAM, in-
cluding companies audited annually
for several years. “There’s still the
perception out there that ITAM is a
cost with low payback, rather than
a means to right-size the budget,”
Conrad says. Rupnik says SMBs
“are the ones typically caught” by
compliance agencies “because they
didn’t know any better, which re-
sults in fnancial hardship.”
Adams recommends approaching
ITAM by focusing on the process
and building it around the dif-
ferent stages of an asset’s lifecycle,
including requisition, receiving, de-
ployment, maintenance, retirement,
and disposal. “Most organizations
spend more time picking a tool than
they do defning their process,” she
focus on asset management than the
decade prior.”
While many companies aren’t cur-
rently doing ITAM well, awareness
of ITAM’s importance seems to be in-
creasing for reasons tied to expenses,
BYOD, virtualization, leasing, war-
ranties, and software audits. For ex-
ample, more companies are looking
to virtualization on the desktop to
save money, Adams says, and “if you
do any type of virtualization, you do
need to have good software license
management in place.”
Elsewhere, many leasing vendors
are offering great deals on hardware,
Adams says, which also requires
good asset management. A company
that goes over a lease agreement
by two months, she says, “might as
well have purchased that asset” as
the value can be completely lost if
the company can’t locate the asset or
must turn to the secondary market to
replace it.
Conrad says an increase in soft-
ware audits in recent years has been
a factor in increased awareness of
ITAM’s importance. “When the
economy gets soft, the audit business
increases,” she says. “Lucky” com-
panies are audited by the software
vendor and may only have to pay
Most asset management is done in
spreadsheets “that become rapidly
outdated and “don’t reflect what’s
really out there.”
Clive Longbottom
analyst and founder, Quocirca
“There’s nothing sexy to ITAM that’s
perceived to beneft the business.”
Sandi Conrad
World Class Operations practice lead, Info-Tech Research Group
32 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
says. Next, look at the ITAM tool. If
there are processes not fexible in the
tool, she says, “you’ll be aware of
whether that tool will be a good ft
or not.” Tool sets essentially include
pieces covering inventory, discovery,
asset management, and software li-
censing optimization, Adams says.
While organizations typically do
well in regard to the physical as-
pects of assets because they usually
have tools in place with inventory
and discovery functionality, a much
lower percentage does well in all
ITAM facets, Adams says. “One of
my favorite sayings is it’s 80% pro-
cess and 20% tool,” she says. Due
to being resource-constrained, small
organizations tend to believe put-
ting a tool in place will “solve ev-
erything.” Realistically, though,
companies need “good, robust, rig-
orous processes” to ensure the data
in the tool is right, and “that’s one of
the key constraints I see in medium
and small businesses.”
Outsourcing ITAM is an option,
and Conrad says there are great
third-party providers. She cautions,
though, to choose a partner “that’s
part of the process,” as adds, moves,
and changes happen constantly and
“it can be diffcult to keep up with
these if the provider isn’t involved
in the daily process.” Furthermore,
she says, providers can vary dra-
matically in what they include. For
example, offerings can range from
a hosted service that discovers and
reports software and hardware on
the company’s network to an on-site
contractor that acts as a liaison be-
tween the purchasing, vendors, and
IT processes.
“The biggest mistake I see is
with companies assuming they’re
getting full ITAM when they’re ac-
tually only getting an inaccurate
inventory,” Conrad says. In terms
of software, she says, remember
that “ultimately the software ven-
dors will hold your organization
responsible for compliance, regard-
less of third-party relationships, so
manager, he says, can bridge the gap
between the business and IT. “Look-
ing at it another way, organizations
need fnance regardless of the state of
the economy or the business. ITAM,
like fnance, is a core competency,”
he says. ●
ignoring compliance issue notifica-
tions could be detrimental.”
Also important to remember is that
persistence pays off. Rupnik sums
this up well by characterizing ITAM
as a “program” that “never ends and
can always be improved.” An ITAM
SMBs “are the ones typically caught”
by compliance agencies “because they
didn’t know any better, which results
in fnancial hardship.”
Keith Rupnik
ITAM specialist, International Association of IT Asset Managers
“Most organizations spend more time
picking a tool than they do defning
their process.”
Patricia Adams
research director, Gartner
Rigorous and consistent ITAM is worthwhile for numerous reasons. As Info-
Tech Research Group’s (www.infotech.com) Sandi Conrad says, “Once the
money is spent, you can’t get it back, so if you’ve overbought on software
licenses or have lost equipment, you’ve wasted money.” Conversely, Conrad
has seen companies cut software budgets by 25% through better manage-
ment of maintenance and support. To that end, the following are various ITAM
best practices:
r Determine immediate and long-term (12 to 36 months out) goals.
r Create ITAM policies and policy management.
r Communicate with employees and educate them about ITAM goals.
r Assign asset management to a qualified technician.
r Match an ITAM tool to your environment.
r Begin the ITAM process by targeting top vendors you use and
big-spending areas.
r Automate processes when possible.
r Centralize the IT acquisition process.
r Understand agreements, contracts, product usage, future plans,
and compliance statuses.
r Ensure financial, inventory, and vendor management.
PC Today / October 2013 33
Typically, moving to the cloud is
a process that entails making one key
decision after another, not the least of
which is deciding which cloud provider
the company will entrust with its data
(and, essentially, its business) for the
foreseeable future. For all the benefts
that utilizing cloud services can provide
small and midsized businesses, real-
izing those benefts will be diffcult, if
not impossible, if the company fails to
develop a strong, trusting relationship
with a cloud provider that can deliver
the performance, security, and other
features the company needs, as well as
grow with the company. To that end,
the following are 10 areas to consider
when selecting a cloud service provider.
It’s a virtual guarantee that be-
fore, during, and after a move to the
cloud, a company will need to ob-
tain support from a cloud provider.
Cloud Service Providers
10 Key Considerations For Choosing The Right Ones
The question is how well-positioned
will the provider be to provide that
support. One train of thought is that
a cloud provider should be able to
offer the same quality of support that
a provider of on-site services could.
When evaluating cloud providers,
check the levels of expertise that are
available, the vendor’s ability to pro-
vide live support, what support-re-
lated costs might be involved, and
what the vendor’s reputation is for
providing support. Although feed-
back in forums can often skew to
positive and negative extremes, it is
worthwhile to check support forums
to get an idea of what actual users are
discussing related to a potential cloud
provider or service.
Although cloud computing has
gained signifcant ground in terms of
earning acceptance among companies,
the industry is still relatively young.
Thus, primary concerns when it
comes to entrusting data to a third
party include the provider’s credi-
bility and a proven ability to deliver
on its promises over the long haul.
To help draw conclusions, check and
verify the various processes (main-
tenance, upgrades, etc.) the provider
has in place. Admittedly, this can be a
daunting task, because you may face
a deluge of information from poten-
tial vendors and not easily recognize
possible gaps that should prompt
further investigation. In that case, it
is benefcial to review material from
the numerous research and analyst
frms that have compiled vendor com-
parisons based on an ample range
of criteria.
While the basic services that a cloud
vendor can provide are undoubtedly
34 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
Not all relationships are meant
to last, and this can include a com-
pany’s relationship with a cloud
provider. The problem is that once
a company moves a large chunk of
data to the cloud, it can be diffcult to
move it back out. Thus, many experts
strongly recommend that a company
have a plan in place for exiting the
cloud that addresses the conditions
under which the company can end
the relationship, how data/systems
will be removed and possibly ported
to another provider, the various costs
expected, legal ramifcations, and re-
lated concerns.
One way cloud experts suggest
companies can possibly save money
when moving to the cloud is by se-
lecting a provider that can tailor ser-
vices to a company’s specifc needs,
something that likely will mean
forging a long-term cloud strategy.
Developing a strategy, in turn, re-
quires ensuring a provider has the
infrastructure and resources in place
to scale as the company grows. Thus,
determine what, if any, limits a pro-
vider places on customers and how
easily it can scale and add resources
per customer need.
Arguably the biggest and longest
running concern with cloud com-
puting relates to security, particularly
where it concerns a company’s data
and privacy. These are chief among
the security traits a company should
check for: whether encryption is in
place; what compliance standards
the provider follows; third-party au-
dits performed; reports, audit results,
and other documentation provided;
protection employed to combat cy-
berattacks; types of access control,
authorization, and authentication en-
listed; and the physical protection
and redundancies used against nat-
ural and man-made disasters. ●
negotiate for an SLA that pertains
specifically to the company and
clearly outlines the penalties and
sanctions the provider will abide by
if it fails to deliver on the stated ser-
vice levels.
Some experts suggest settling for
SLAs that indicate the provider will
reach nothing less than 11 nines (that
is, 99.999999999%) uptime. Whatever
your level of involvement with a
cloud vendor, it’s in your company’s
best interest to fully understand the
SLA; in particular, it’s vital to know
the conditions that must exist for the
SLA to be applicable.
Even the most ardent supporters
of cloud computing will admit that
cloud services are susceptible to some
performance issues. This can be par-
ticularly true in cases where a great
deal of active data travels back and
forth between the company and a
public cloud provider. In addition
to performing a proof of concept to
check performance, various experts
advise determining how many out-
ages a provider has had and what
the provider’s track record is for re-
bounding from network, hardware,
and other failures.
One area in which cloud com-
puting offerings can sometimes need
improvement is in the quality and
availability of various management
tools. These include tools that pro-
vide oversight into on-premises and
cloud-based storage, management
of services from multiple cloud pro-
viders, and insight and control over
cloud usage and billing.
Depending on the specific case,
acquiring new personnel and third-
party tools might be necessary to sat-
isfy requirements. On the flip side,
some cloud providers are building
solutions directly into their services.
Some cloud storage vendors, for ex-
ample, integrate automated backup
and archiving abilities.
important, for many companies it is
the availability of value-added ser-
vices that will ultimately sway the de-
cision between one cloud vendor and
another. This is due somewhat to the
fact that the basics offered by particu-
larly larger cloud service providers are
becoming fairly equal while the extras
offered can differ considerably. For
example, one cloud storage provider
may offer database services while an-
other does not.
As vendors increasingly make
it worthwhile to serve as their cus-
tomers’ sole choice in cloud provider,
thanks to a combination of proprietary
functionality and cost-effective ser-
vice bundling, it becomes more impor-
tant that you consider each vendor’s
entire breadth of services, including
value-adds and niche features. Doing
so helps you avoid surprising holes in
service and interoperability problems
down the road.
The burden of compiling all the
pieces necessary to make a move
to the cloud can prove extremely
time-consuming and diffcult, espe-
cially for smaller businesses with al-
ready overtaxed IT personnel who
shoulder multiple responsibilities
and may lack expertise or skill sets
in cloud-related areas. In such cases,
the partnerships a particular cloud
provider has formed with other com-
panies (such as an appliance vendor)
that it can pass on to the customer
can prove valuable. The provider
may, for example, offer an attrac-
tive, convenient, and cost-effective
turnkey solution that is just right for
your business.
Nearly all advice pertaining to
making a move to the cloud even-
tually touches upon SLAs (service
level agreements). Some experts, in
fact, declare that any company ini-
tiating an agreement with a cloud
vendor should go beyond the pro-
vider’s standard SLA and instead
PC Today / October 2013 35
How we interact with machines has
expanded beyond keyboards and mice.
You’ve experienced this shift already
via touchscreens, voice recognition,
game controllers, and other technolo-
gies that Microsoft, Samsung, Apple,
and other companies provide. In the
future, these human-device interactions
will only further expand. In fact, some
believe “perceptual computing” will
bring about a radical transformation.
This trend in new human-device in-
teraction abilities is known as “percep-
tual computing.” Perceptual computing
isn’t any one product, however, it’s
more of a concept. Michael Palma, IDC
(www.idc.com) research manager, refers
to the movement as “transparent com-
puting” because taking human-machine
interactions beyond the traditional key-
board and mouse approach and making
Perceptual Computing
Humans Interacting With Computers Naturally
them as natural and transparent as pos-
sible is essentially the aim.
A good example of this is what touch-
screens have done for interacting with
phones and tablets. Even a small child
or adult with little computing experi-
ence can generally pick up a tablet and
start using applications fairly quickly vs.
doing the same via keyboard or mouse.
Tim Bajarin, president of Creative
Strategies (creativestrategies.com), says for
PC, tablet, and smartphone vendors,
perceptual computing is about pre-
senting new forms of UIs (user inter-
faces) and ways to interact with these
products. “This includes adding touch,
gestures, speech, and eventually even
eye-tracking user input to control and
navigate a PC, tablet, or smartphone.”
Examples of products using what are
considered forms of perceptual comput-
ing include Microsoft’s Kinect (www.mi
crosoft.com), which provides voice, mo-
tion, and gesture abilities in conjunction
with Xbox 360 consoles and PCs. Sam-
sung’s Galaxy S4 (www.samsung.com)
smartphone, meanwhile, provides eye-
tracking, Air Gestures, and Air View
technologies. Other examples include
Apple’s (www.apple.com) voice recogni-
tion-driven Siri, and Leap Motion’s
(www.leapmotion.com) Controller, a USB-
based device that supports using hand
movements to interact with computers.
Intel (www.intel.com) is also heavily in-
vested in perceptual computing. Beyond
forming the Perceptual Computing
Group, Intel released a Perceptual Com-
puting software developer kit to ap-
plication developers and launched a
Perceptual Computing Challenge to re-
ward the best applications using Intel’s
technology. In June, Intel Capital an-
nounced details of a $100 million invest-
ment aimed at speeding up software/
application development, and in July,
Intel acquired Omek Interactive, a ges-
ture-recognition product provider.
36 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
locally, as well as across the cloud, to
recognize who is the audience or poten-
tial user within that area and what con-
tent they might like to see and deliver it
in an unobtrusive way without the user
having to take action.”
Perceptual computing could also be
useful to people with disabilities. Rather
than having to use a keyboard and
mouse, which might be diffcult, hand
waves and voice recognition could
help a disabled user interact with a PC,
Bajarin says. To handle the next genera-
tion of perceptual computing interfaces,
though, Bajarin says more innovation,
better algorithms for voice and speech
recognition, and more powerful proces-
sors are needed.
Palma describes a progression con-
sisting of four waves. The frst is get-
ting interfaces working. The second is
creating software that uses the inter-
faces and incorporates the interfaces
directly into software applications.
The third wave, he says, entails de-
vices taking sensor data and building
context to “understand how you’re
using it.” The fourth wave, Palma
says, “is when I link up to the broader
environment and I can interact in the
background with intelligent systems
that surround me.”
With all the technologies involved
in perceptual computing, Palma says
the quality of data capture is impor-
tant. Also important is expanding “the
breadth of my interaction and experi-
ence with the device,” he says.
Palma says going beyond “what
we’ve seen in ‘Star Trek’” is still years
away in terms of the hardware and
software advancements needed, al-
though movement and sensing tech-
nologies have advanced rapidly and
“we’re pretty far along that curve in
moving into the third wave and actu-
ally being able to move into the fourth
wave in a year or two.” As percep-
tual computing does develop, he says,
“it will radically change how we live
our lives and how we interact with a
growing number of systems.” ●
Voice navigation and speech recognition,
however, will likely have the greatest
impact on future UIs (user interfaces), be-
cause they bring “the dimension of voice
and speech into the UI arena,” providing
“a powerful new way to interact and deal
with digital devices in the future.”
Tim Bajarin
president, Creative Strategies
Intel is one of several companies that is
developing perceptual computing
technologies and products.
Intel has also publicly demonstrat-
ed various hand gesture controls used
in association with a 3D camera and
computer. Reportedly, Intel believes 3D-
sensing cameras could be integrated
in Ultrabooks and notebooks by the end
of 2014. Intel senior vice president
Mooly Eden says enabling devices with
3D vision that’s comparable to humans’
and bringing natural interaction to PCs
could open up “a whole new dimen-
sion not just for PCs, but for smart-
phones, tablets, media boxes, vending
machines, cars, and almost anything
that connects to the Internet.” Craig
Hurst, Intel director of visual comput-
ing products, says he’s optimistic that
when developers realize how readily
they can create interesting perceptual
computing experiences, it will “cause an
explosion in the ecosystem.”
Bajarin views touch and gesture con-
trols as more of an evolution of user
input. Air gestures such as those that
Leap Motion provides, for example,
let users use their hands to draw, ma-
nipulate 3D objects, and move among
screens and tiles without touching a
screen. These abilities “will all add
greater depth to the user experience,”
Bajarin says. Voice navigation and
speech recognition, however, will likely
have the greatest impact on future UIs,
he says, because they bring “the dimen-
sion of voice and speech into the UI
arena,” providing “a powerful new
way to interact and deal with digital
devices in the future.”
Palma, meanwhile, sees perceptual
computing as being tied with several
larger trends, including “intelligence
systems,” or the growing number of
connected global devices being
equipped with more powerful proces-
sors and OSes that humans are inter-
acting with frequently. Such devices
include digital signage, information ki-
osks, point-of-sale systems, information
boards at airports, factory and industry
automation, and medical equipment.
Palma also sees perceptual com-
puting tied to pervasive computing,
which he says is coming in line with
intelligent systems and which involves
humans being surrounded by more
systems they’re interacting with. Long-
term, Palma says these technologies
could propel a considerable amount of
interaction occurring in the background.
“I won’t have to walk up to a digital
signage and have to touch a touchscreen
to select something I want to see. It
will sense that I’m there,” he says. “It’s
being able to have processing capability
PC Today / October 2013 37
➤ In 2012, the cost of installed solar systems in the United States fell by a range
of 6 to 14% compared to the previous year, leading to price jobs of $0.30 per Watt
to $0.90/W, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory report. More
specifcally, the average installed price of smaller residential and commercial PV
(photovoltaic) solar systems in 2012 was $5.30/W, whereas larger 10,000 kilowatt
systems cost between $2.50/W and $4/W.
The report attributes the price drop to the decreased cost of PV modules, and
it also stresses that there is room for improvement to bring the U.S. in-line with
prices in other countries such as Germany and Australia. For instance, Berkeley
Lab recommends that solar vendors focus on reducing soft costs, which relate to
labor, marketing, and other facets of installation that don’t relate directly to the
PV system itself. Although the lower prices are nice, there is a trade-off because
there are fewer federal incentives for installing PV systems. This means the U.S.
can only expect to see even lower prices if manufacturing processes continue to
improve and solar cell and panel costs continue to drop.
➤ The Global Smart Grid Technologies and Growth Markets, 2013-2020 report from
GTM Research states that the global smart grid market is projected to reach in ex-
cess of $400 billion by 2020. The report covered fve geographic regions, including
Asia-Pacifc, China, Europe, Latin America, and North America. GTM Research says
China will be the biggest motivator of growth, accounting for more than 24% percent
of the total worldwide market. This graph from GTM Research shows potential
growth for the smart grid market in specifc regions over the next seven years.
The electronic
devices that make
our lives easier also
produce some un-
wanted side effects
on the environment.
Fortunately, many
consumer electronics
manufacturers and
businesses are work-
ing to create products
that keep us produc-
tive while reducing
energy demands to
lessen our impact
on the environment.
Here, we take a look
at the newest envi-
ronmentally friendly
technology initiatives.
38 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
➤ University of Michigan researcher
Michael Sivak says the combination
of hot temperatures and increasing
incomes could lead some developing
countries to surpass the United States
in AC-based energy consumption.
Among the eight countries that could
potentially overtake the U.S. in this area
are Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India,
Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, and the
Philippines. Sivak adds that while
this development would be enough
to harshly impact worldwide energy
resources, the problem is only com-
pounded by global warming and cli-
mate change. For that reason, it may be
more important than ever to develop
green, environmentally friendly cooling
solutions that can use power more ef-
fciently and ease the burden.
➤ Catlin Powers, an environmental
health Ph.D. candidate and Harvard
School of Public Health graduate, is
“one of the creative forces behind”
SolSource, a portable solar cooker.
She came up with the solar cooker
idea while investigating climate
change in the rural Himalayas. Dur-
ing her time there, a question from a
local family had her looking at the in-
ternal air pollution that results from
cooking indoors without proper ven-
tilation. While the SolSource was de-
signed with the Himalayan plateau in
mind, this environmentally friendly
cooking solution could be used in a
variety of regions where sunlight is
plentiful and indoor pollution is an
issue. SolSource recently surpassed
its Kickstarter funding target, out-
earning its original goal by 330%,
which means solar cookers might
soon be available for people all over
the world.
➤ Traditional batteries require membranes to generate and store
electricity. Researchers at MIT are taking battery design to another level,
developing a membraneless battery that is more effcient at storing en-
ergy. The new rechargeable fow battery fts in the palm of your hand
and is capable of generating three times as much energy per square centi-
meter as similar devices.
MIT’s new battery design
uses laminar flow, a process
where “two liquids are pumped
through a channel, undergoing
electrochemical reactions be-
tween two electrodes to store
or release energy,” according to
Jennifer Chu, a writer at MIT’s
News Office. This removes a
traditional membrane from the
equation, thus lowering the cost
of the battery while also im-
proving effciency.
According to researchers,
this technology could prove
benefcial for the wind energy
and solar power industries
that rely on quick energy cap-
ture to generate and store the
largest amount of electricity
for current or future use. The latter idea, storing energy, is particularly
important, because systems using fow batteries would be able to pull
energy during peak hours even if the wind isn’t blowing or the sun isn’t
shining. The fow battery is still in its early stages, but it’s a promising de-
velopment researchers hope could lead to energy costs as low as $100 per
➤ A report from the BlueGreen Alliance shows that energy effciency is
one of the biggest factors affecting job growth in the United States. Energy
effciency is crucial not only for environmental purposes, but it also helps
cut down on electric bills for manufacturers and other companies. And if
those companies can be effcient enough in their business processes to free
up additional funds, then they may hire more employees to encourage and
facilitate business growth.
The BlueGreen Alliance also points out that it’s important to continue
incentivizing green energy initiatives because the more companies that
implement energy effcient solutions, the more jobs that will be available.
The group recommends improving the Investment Tax Credit for CHP
(combined heat and power) systems, which generate thermal energy in
addition to electricity. The BlueGreen Alliance also calls for the reestab-
lishment of the 48C Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit, which
helped to create jobs in the manufacturing sector through federal and
private funding.
Using laminar flow technology instead of a
membrane, MIT’s palm-sized flow battery is
capable of generating more electricity than
traditional battery designs and can store it
much more efciently, as well.
PC Today / October 2013 39
To some extent, the increased re-
sponsibilities and complexities that
IT departments are now dealing with
due to the infux of tablets (and smart-
phones) into their enterprises is simply a
numbers game. It makes sense, after all,
that the more devices added to the feet
of PCs and notebooks that IT depart-
ments are already managing, the more
weight that’s being placed on its shoul-
ders. In short, the days of one-device-
per-one-user management are over.
It’s not unfathomable that in some
enterprises IT is now devoting as much
or more time to managing tablets as
they do PCs/notebooks. This isn’t
Under New Management
Tablets Place Increased Responsibilities On IT Departments
surprising considering the number of
possible tablet platforms and OSes in
question. Further, factor in the increased
burden that tablets place on corporate
networks; all the security risks tablets
open up (including those related to lost
and stolen tablets containing company
data); and the tasks involved with de-
veloping, maintaining, and enforcing
policy. And we’ve yet to mention the
many aspects that go into selecting, de-
veloping, deploying, and managing
apps used on workers’ tablets. While
there’s no denying tablets can offer en-
terprises many benefits, they are also
changing IT’s job requirements.
Characterizing exactly to what ex-
tent IT’s job requirements have changed
due both to enterprises adopting tab-
lets and the BYOD movement is tricky,
if only because we’re essentially still
in the early days of these movements.
Still, it’s easy to point out several areas
where IT’s duties have already been
altered, and significantly so in some
cases. Rob Bamforth, Quocirca (www
.quocirca.com) principal analyst, says
the change BYOD brought about is
akin to shifting from “instructing dogs
to herding cats to luring and tagging
rabbits.” Once, he says, IT had total
In many enterprises
IT department must
juggle multiple tablet-
related platforms and
OSes as opposed to
often just one OS for
desktop and laptop PCs.
Permitting workers to
install apps on com-
pany tablets means that
IT departments must be
prepared to deal with
malicious apps, potential
data loss, and other issues.
Workers generally
expect to be able to
use tablets anywhere
within the company’s
space, including the
hallways, break areas,
and even restrooms.
Industry data suggests that
in the coming years a large
number of corporate wireless
networks, which employees
rely on for tablet and other
mobile device connectivity,
will become oudated.
40 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
and divergent. A signifcant one, par-
ticularly for enterprises embracing
BYOD, is the multiple hardware types
and OSes that are at play. Whereas
an IT department may only have to
manage and service one OS for the
enterprise’s PCs, it’s possible it must
stay abreast of upgrades, updates, se-
curity risks, hardware requirements,
and other issues for two or three tablet
For security and end-user experi-
ence purposes, IT must also deal with
numerous issues related to the dif-
ferent versions of apps aimed at those
tablet platforms and OSes. Frost &
Sullivan (www.frost.com) data from this
year, for example, indicates 44% of
companies expect their mobile app
partners to support multiple form fac-
tors and OSes.
Overall, Enderle says, there really is
no set process among companies yet
for handling multiple OSes. Controls
can range from light rules surrounding
device approval to full IT purchase
and control. “I think we are waiting
for the first big public tablet sourced
breach, and then we’ll see a great deal
more consistency,” he says. In essence,
handling multiple hardware types is
just “the nature of BYOD,” he says.
Although it poses problems, he says,
IT is working to ensure much of the
“problem lies with the line managers
who approve the devices.”
Outside of juggling issues tied to
multiple tablet platforms/OSes, IT per-
sonnel are also being confronted with
new responsibilities related to the cor-
porate network, app usage, theft and
loss, and devices that are likely to
be accessed by more people and ab-
sorb physical punishment vs. more
stationary PCs and notebooks. Take,
for example, the ease with which a
worker can pass a tablet among mul-
tiple people, including friends or family
members. Even if only sharing a tablet
with a non-employee for a few minutes,
sensitive data is potentially falling into
non-employees’ hands.
control, and obedience was expected
from the users. BYOD dramatically
changed this dynamic to the point
that “now, it’s a matter of trying to en-
courage a bit of formality and identif-
cation to smart small devices that keep
popping up all over the place,” he says.
Rob Enderle, Enderle Group (www
.enderlegroup.com) principal analyst, says
the difference between managing PCs/
notebooks vs. tablets is signifcant. “PCs
tend to have set configurations and
are wrapped with both security con-
trols and security software,” he says.
“Tablets tend to belong to the em-
ployees [and] have little consistency,
and IT doesn’t have much control over
them.” Thus, tablets often represent a
much higher concern in regard to se-
curity exposures and must be “risk-ac-
cepted by the line of business allowing
them on premise,” he says.
In addition to plenty of variations
in basic controls between PC/note-
books and tablets and the likelihood
that workers are using tablets for both
personal and work purposes, Bamforth
says it’s fair to say many enterprises
also are dealing with at least a couple of
tablet OSes. “However, one of the big-
gest challenges from a business IT man-
agement perspective is that PC/laptops
are used as more personal devices in
controlled settings, but tablets will be
right in the thick of a business process,
because they’re more mobile and acces-
sible,” he says.
For example, sharing figures with
a co-worker is far more instant via a
tablet than doing so in a document via
email or pulling a co-worker to your
desk to look at your PC/laptop screen.
This immediate and informal sharing,
as well as worker’s assumption that a
tablet will just work, leads to higher
user expectations, Bamforth says.
“Ironically, as the technology is fading
to become consumer-like, the expecta-
tions on the invisible infrastructure are
soaring,” he says.
The complexities that tablets can
add to IT departments are numerous
“PCs tend to have set confgurations and
are wrapped with both security controls
and security software. Tablets tend to
belong to the employees [and] have little
consistency, and IT doesn’t have much
control over them.”
Rob Enderle
principal analyst, Enderle Group
“One of the biggest challenges from a
business IT management perspective is
that PC/laptops are used as more per-
sonal devices in controlled settings, but
tablets will be right in the thick of a busi-
ness process because they’re more mobile
and accessible.”
Rob Bamforth
principal analyst, Quocirca
PC Today / October 2013 41
hardware vendors and wireless carriers
and to receive hefty discounts.
“Then in terms of day-to-day
management on the device, nothing
changes regardless of the ownership
model,” he says. “It’s more about what
happens if the employee loses [his] de-
vice or it gets stolen or the employee
gets terminated. In many countries, it’s
a federal offense to do a full wipe of
the device if you don’t own it. So you
lose a lot of those restrictions. And with
this COPE model, the organization can
say ‘we’re going to prevent copy-paste
because we’ve put a sandbox in and if
you don’t like it, tough cookies.’”
How tablets will continue to change
IT’s job requirements really depends
on what happens to tablets, Enderle
says. “With notebooks getting smaller,
lighter, and cheaper, and cell phones
getting bigger, you begin to wonder
if tablets will make it outside of cer-
tain vertical markets like health-
care through the decade,” he says.
“Eventually, however, I’m expecting a
breach, which will result in a more ag-
gressive lockdown of this technology.
We tend to wait for a disaster and
then overreact,” he says.
Bamforth, meanwhile, expects IT’s
management of tablets to continue to
move to a service provider model, after
which “it will need careful balancing
between core infrastructure services,
which could be regarded as common
plumbing (and could therefore be out-
sourced) and value-added services that
directly help the business.” Overall, he
says, the evolution represents “inter-
esting times for many in IT.” ●
App-specifc concerns and respon-
sibilities that IT are tackling include
security worries stemming from mali-
cious apps, company and customer
data shared and stored via online ser-
vices, and all the compliance issues
that go along with such scenarios. In
response some enterprises are estab-
lishing their enterprise app stores and
installing mobile device management
solutions on tablets, both of which add
yet more duties to IT’s plate. Bamforth
says the shift toward managing an
enterprise app store and dealing with
user self-service app activities in one
form or another means IT is essen-
tially switching “toward a service pro-
vider model.”
Frost & Sullivan data indicates that
more than 70% of the North American
companies it surveyed plan to imple-
ment one or more new apps for mo-
bile workers in coming years (73%
already have at least one mobile em-
ployee-facing app in place). Jeanine
Sterling, Frost & Sullivan principal
analyst, says “clearly, today’s IT or-
ganization is receiving an increasing
number of requests from company
departments to create or purchase mo-
bile applications. That is, when the
line of business executive doesn’t just
decide to do an end-run around IT
and purchase and deploy a prepack-
aged application on their own.”
Current prepackaged mobile worker
apps, she says, are typically designed
to work on iOS and Android tablets,
“so IT organizations have to make an
informed choice and decide just how
important security, price, open architec-
ture, and other features are within the
mobile ecosystem they’re building for
their companies.”
Where the corporate network is
concerned, tablets are producing
scores of headaches for IT. Gartner,
for example, predicts that by 2015,
80% of wireless networks newly in-
stalled will be out-of-date. Overall,
mobility changes are occurring faster
than enterprises can adapt to and
change, Gartner states, and continuing
increases in mobile traffic will only
expand the situation. Bamforth says
compared to laptops, tablets have
poor Wi-Fi range, but workers “will
expect to use them everywhere—cor-
ridors, break areas, and even rest-
rooms.” In addition to addressing
availability issues, Enderle says IT
must also tighten down on wireless
access points “given the security expo-
sures rogue access points represent.”
While many enterprises have im-
plemented BYOD policies and prac-
tices, Philippe Winthrop, Enterprise
Mobility Foundation (theemf.org) found-
er, says another strategy companies
are using is COPE (Corporate Owned
Personally Enabled), which is the
“mirror opposite of BYOD.” Essentially,
the company owns, manages, secures,
and does whatever it wants with the
tablet, he says, but the employee picks
the platform. Regardless of using either
BYOD or COPE, Winthrop says users
expect to pick the platform or brand
they want, and the “corporate mandate
just doesn’t apply anymore. And if any-
thing, the onus is then on IT to leverage
software assets that are cross-platform,
in terms of MDM (mobile device man-
agement), sandboxing, or even email
for that matter.”
Winthrop says a recent study indi-
cated 70% of Fortune 500 companies
plan to implement a COPE-like model
in the next three years. The difference
between COPE and BYOD isn’t nec-
essarily what IT will do daily but it is
more about the economic impact a com-
pany can realize by having better econo-
mies of scale in terms of being better
positioned in contract negotiations with
“Today’s IT organization is receiving an
increasing number of requests from com-
pany departments to create or purchase
mobile applications.”
Jeanine Sterling
principal analyst, Frost & Sullivan
42 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
The mobile device market con-
tinues to evolve and consumers have
access to more powerful technology
than ever before. Bob Hafner, man-
aging vice president at Gartner (www
.gartner.com), remembers a time when
“sophisticated” technology was “rel-
atively expensive and generally not
affordable for the individual.” Then,
people started buying home PCs,
even though they were less pow-
erful than those they had at the offce.
However, that’s not the case anymore.
Consumers have more information to
draw from and feel more comfortable
making technology decisions.
Consumerization Strategies
Open vs. Limited Access
When the moment came that smart-
phones went past targeting business-
people and widened their focus to the
general public, consumerization was
born. Consumerization is “about the
consumer deciding what they want
in a device,” says Hafner. And to help
companies embrace consumerization,
they started creating BYOD (bring
your own device) policies, which
“allow these devices in the workplace
and give employees what they want,
while [companies] still have some
modicum of control,” he says.
Employees simply want more con-
trol over the devices they use in the
workplace. But for many IT workers
and administrators, the infux of con-
sumer devices could be viewed as a
threat to their role in the organization.
The key to fully embracing consumer-
ization and implementing successful
BYOD policies is to understand what
your employees want and fnd ways
to fulfll those needs without making
the organization vulnerable.
Consumerization, which in its most
basic sense can be described as an edu-
cational renaissance in how consumers
IT administrators need to
prepare for culture shock
due to consumerization and
their ever-changing role, and
organizations must decide
how much support they’ll
give to personal devices.
Before you make large
mobile security purchases,
look at the tools you al-
ready have, such as Ex-
change ActiveSync, and
determine whether that
might solve your problem.
Understand how many mobile
security and management
solutions are available, such
as mobile device management
and containerization. Then,
decide which ones are a ft for
your company.
Consumerization will con-
tinue to grow and BYOD
policies will always be a
necessity, but it’s important
to make sure you strike a
balance between control
and user experience.
PC Today / October 2013 43
view technology, flies in the face of
traditional logic from an IT admin-
istrator point of view. According to
Paul DeBeasi, research vice president
with Gartner, employees are starting
to believe that “they know what’s best
for their job,” whereas this used to be
the role of the IT department. But in-
stead of seeking advice from IT experts,
many consumers are forgoing a per-
sonal life and business life separation
in favor of blending the two together
with mobile devices.
“The frst thing to overcome is the
cultural shock of employees telling IT
what to do,” says DeBeasi. “That’s an
obstacle for many enterprises because
for as long as personal computing
has been around, it has been the IT
department for the most part being
the experts, being the most knowl-
edgeable, making the rules, buying
the equipment, deploying it, and
supporting it. That’s been their role
in life, and for some of these IT staff
people it has been for decades. Now,
that has been completely turned up-
side down, so there’s sort of a cultural
mindset that must be overcome, and I
wouldn’t underestimate that.”
The role of the IT administrator
and of the IT department as a whole is
starting to shift away from total control
to more of a support role within the
organization. “IT people are entrusted
with ensuring corporate information is
not lost out in the public domain and
that there are no viruses or malware
that get into the corporate environment
that can cause security issues,” says
Hafner. And now that well-established
responsibility must apply to personal
devices, to varying degrees.
BYOD is becoming a way of life, so
it’s not a matter of whether or not you’ll
support consumerization and the in-
flux of employee-owned devices, it’s
a matter of how much support you’ll
provide. DeBeasi says is starts with
something as simple as determining
whether employees should be able to
networks. Employees can now use sales
apps with access to sensitive informa-
tion, says Hafner. This is information
that you “don’t really want to get out
to the public domain,” he says. So, de-
pending on the applications that you
choose to support, you’ll need security
and management solutions in place to
mitigate any risks.
If a majority of your employees or
multiple departments in your orga-
nization only use business email on
their personal devices, then you may
contact the help desk for personal de-
vice support, but it doesn’t stop there.
Executives and IT administrators need
to work together to decide what types
of hardware, operating systems, and
applications should be allowed. You
have to ask yourself whether you want
to include support for only enterprise
apps or if you want to extend that sup-
port to personal apps.
It used to be that email was one of
the only true business uses for mobile
devices in the workplace, but that has
changed significantly thanks to the
proliferation of productivity apps and
the increased performance of mobile
“The tools are now in place. We have
mobile device management applications
and malware protection that can go in
there. Now there are a whole bunch of
security mechanisms, like containerization
and application wrapping, on-device
encryption, secure passwords, and remote
wipe. There is a whole list of different
things we can do now to protect the
corporation from these devices and in
many cases protect the corporate
information that is on those devices.”
Bob Hafner
managing vice president, Gartner
“Consumerization is a pervasive, very
far-reaching trend in terms of technology,
services, software, applications, the way that
the IT organization operates, the role of IT,
and careers in IT. What is the future of the IT
career? The whole role of the IT organization,
from buying to building solutions, is becom-
ing more of a broker [role]. It’s far-reaching
and, as far as mobility is concerned, we’re
still at the very early stages of that.”
Paul DeBeasi
research vice president, Gartner
44 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
tainers, the IT organization gets more
and more controls, but it becomes a little
more intrusive to the user.” There is
a trade-off between control and user
experience that should be taken into
consideration and is a “balance that en-
terprises have to make,” he says. After
all, the main point of implementing a
BYOD policy is to allow employees to
use their devices safely and effectively
to increase their productivity.
According to Hafner, consumer-
ization should continue to increase as
employees are considering or already
bringing their own PCs, in addition to
smartphones and tablets, into the work-
place. But he doesn’t necessarily see
a time, in the next five years at least,
where BYOD replaces everything. And
the main reason for that is that some
employees simply don’t want the re-
sponsibility of keeping up with tech-
nology and choosing their own devices.
“You’re trying to run a business, and
if the person is not technology literate,
and depending on what the job is, they
might depend on the organization to
not only supply the devices, but more
importantly to support devices,” says
Hafner. “When we’re helping people
put together BYOD strategies for their
organizations, we tell them that you
have an opt-in and an opt-out plan
for people that don’t want to do these
things, because you can’t necessarily
force them.”
However, Hafner doesn’t rule out a
future where companies may decide to
create new positions or hire new em-
ployees on the condition that as a part of
their contract of employment, they must
“always have a PC and a smartphone
that’s less than two years old” and the
company may offer compensation for
usage. But one thing is undeniable:
Consumerization is here to stay, and
BYOD policies will be more important
than ever. You have to make sure you
have control over your company’s data
and resources but still give employees
what they need. ●
already have sufficient tools in place
that you weren’t previously aware of.
“At the very minimum, you have to
use Exchange ActiveSync, which al-
lows you to enforce several policies on
the device, so [you can] remotely wipe
the device if it’s lost or stolen,” says
Hafner. Exchange ActiveSync also pro-
vides password enforcement and other
security features to help you get more
control over your employee’s devices
in the workplace. Perhaps what makes
ActiveSync appealing is that it’s built
into Microsoft Exchange—and it’s free.
Hafner says that Exchange Active-
Sync is “great for email, and if you’re
only allowing users to access email,
then perhaps that’s good enough for
you right now.” The only problem with
Exchange ActiveSync is that it really
only works for email, and most em-
ployees are going far beyond email in
terms of how they use their devices for
business. Hafner says that email is very
well-understood and taken care of for
the most part, but it’s with other appli-
cations that companies need to consider
the level of security they need to fully
protect devices and data.
It’s crucial to create strict BYOD poli-
cies that limit the risks associated with
consumerization, but that can’t be your
only course of action. After all, if you
give your employees free rein on your
network with only mere suggestions to
contain their activities, many users will
simply do what they think is right. This
is not an option for companies where
there is a risk of signifcant data leakage
via mobile devices.
The degree of security you need de-
pends on how mobile devices are being
used at your company. You can look
at it from a general perspective, but it
doesn’t hurt to dig a little deeper into
individual departments and roles. A
feld service technician’s device, for ex-
ample, doesn’t hold too much informa-
tion, Hafner says. “It’s got a couple of
drawings on how the pieces of equip-
ment he might repair have to be put
back together, things like that. If it gets
lost, I just wipe the device and I don’t
really care. You have to determine what
it is that’s going to be on there and the
level of risk.”
But for employees who need access
to internal company resources to do
their job from remote locations, busi-
nesses can implement solutions such
as virtual desktops or thin clients on
tablets. With this approach, employees
can “look at information that is stored
back on the data center, like you would
with a virtual desktop that you might
have, but there’s really nothing stored
on the device there at all,” says Hafner.
He warns though that this type of solu-
tion relies heavily on connectivity, so if
any of your employees are working in
regions with poor reception, this might
not be an option.
DeBeasi also suggests that companies
consider MDM (mobile device manage-
ment) solutions, which provide more
control over devices. Companies can
actually monitor devices as endpoints
and make sure they aren’t accessing
sensitive data or, worse, downloading
it or transmitting it elsewhere. MDM
solutions help companies allow or deny
network connections as well as just have
a better view into network activity from
a mobile perspective.
Another potential solution that both
Hafner and DeBeasi recommend when
implementing BYOD policies is con-
tainerization. Containerization lets you
set aside some storage for enterprise-
only apps, which blocks access to or
from other applications on the device.
“For example, you’ve got your busi-
ness app on there that does whatever it
needs to do and they’ve loaded down
50 games or apps,” says Hafner. These
are isolated from each other, so there’s
no way for you to share a fle from the
business app with one of the other apps
or the other way around.” This also
prevents potential malware from seem-
ingly trustworthy applications from af-
fecting any business data that’s stored
on the device.
DeBeasi warns that “as you go from
Exchange ActiveSync, to MDM, to con-
PC Today / October 2013 45
An ever-increasing amount of
workers are bringing their personal
tablets into the workplace, and
many who aren’t want their enter-
prises to deploy them. Despite this,
some executives have doubts about
what tablets can offer their compa-
nies. Some also question whether tab-
lets can provide more services or give
users the tools necessary to complete
more tasks.
Plenty of experts believe that tablets
definitely deserve consideration from
executives, including in terms of even
potentially temporarily or permanently
replacing PCs throughout a company.
Tablets For Enterprises
How The Device Stacks Up Against Smartphones & PCs For Business Purposes
There’s no question the popu-
larity of tablets is swelling among
consumers and businesses. Forrester
Research (www.forrester.com) data from
this year, for example, predicts a
global installed base of 327 million
tablets by year’s end (905 million by
2017), with 39 million being tablets
enterprises purchase. Key drivers
include portability, ease of use, end
user preferences, senior executives’
desires, enhanced productivity, and
better customer experience. Forrester
states some verticals, such as health-
care, are supplanting laptops with
tablets (or hybrid, dockable devices
functioning as tablets and laptops).
Forrester expects business-owned tab-
lets to increase to make up 18% of the
tablet market by 2017.
Still, a belief lingers that tablets
lag behind PCs in certain busi-
ness-specific respects, including
when performing processor-inten-
sive tasks, working with complex
data, and creating original content.
Andrew Borg, Aberdeen Group
(www.aberdeen.com) research director
for enterprise mobility and collabo-
ration, says there are caveats to such
generalizations. “First, we’re talking
Currently, tablets can
provide an ideal tool for
certain positions and
departments, but many
experts don’t view them as
being able to replace PCs
companywide yet.
Tablets possess several
features that many ex-
perts fnd advantageous
over smartphones (screen
sizes, content, etc.) and
laptops (weight, portabil-
ity, battery life, etc.).
Due to compatibility
reasons and technical
capabilities, some
experts view Microsoft
tablets as being able to
provide several enter-
prise-related benefts.
In 2014, tablets should
be lighter and thinner and
provide more powerful
processing abilities, more
integrated memory, and other
abilities that make them more
46 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
to justify tablets is like buying a lake
in order to have a glass of water.”
Tablets do integrate well, Egan
says, in such areas as the boardroom
to replace paper, for presentations, to
provide “roving” IT support, for sales
departments, and audio/video/pre-
sentation conference calls.
Among the pros tablets possess
over laptops is weight. Even com-
pared with the lightest laptop, Borg
says tablets win out. Further, at least
historically, tablet battery life has
been 10 times greater than that of
the traditional laptop, though this is
changing, he says. Having a work-
oriented mobile device that’s easy
to carry, offers long battery life, and
can provide full connectivity while
in motion translates to something
workers can use in many more en-
vironments than otherwise possible,
says Borg. Conversely, the “mo-
bility” of laptops essentially means
carrying them to meetings and con-
ference rooms and using them at a
desk or table. Where meetings with
customers and colleagues and trav-
eling are concerned, the “difference
between 3.5 pounds vs. a pound or
less with much longer battery life is a
big deal,” adds Borg.
Beyond weight, Egan counts
tabl ets’ i nstant-on abi l i ty and
form factor as advantages, though
he not es si mi l ar f eat ures are
showing up in Ultrabooks and
convertibles, too. Compared with
smartphones, though, few people
want to hold a tablet up and use it
like a phone, he says. Brett says be-
yond providing a “small measure
of fashion,” tablets’ larger screens
generally make them better for Web
browsing and other applications than
smartphones. “Tablets can be too
big or too small, as well,” he says.
“A classic iPad isn’t something you
might want to carry when surveying
a large physical site,” he says.
Borg says a smartphone’s screen
size regulates it to being more of a
about tablets in the year 2013. How
we talk about tablets in the year
2014 might be very different,” he
says. Quad- or octa-core processors
could do away with the question
of processing ability, he says, while
all tablets can access some version
of Microsoft Offce now, thus doc-
ument and content creation is no
longer a differentiator.
Business-wise, where tablets fall
short when compared with laptops
is in their OSes. A tablet’s OS is op-
timized for battery life rather than
“multi-mode fluidity,” or easily
moving content among apps, which
is required in file management.
Exceptions include Windows Surface
and Pro tablets, Borg says, which
from a technical-abilities perspective
don’t suffer from such limitations
and can handle content creation and
dynamically or fluidly move con-
tent between tablet apps. What’s not
clear, though, is if “the enterprise is
looking at Microsoft’s tablet strategy
as the answer,” he says.
Charles Brett, Freeform Dynamics
(www. freeformdynami cs. com) prin-
cipal analyst, says he believes tab-
lets “almost certainly” can’t replace
PCs companywide, and to what
extent they can replace PCs at all
relates to individual needs. For
jobs requiring minimal movement
(traders, call center operators, etc.),
he says PCs still satisfy associated
requirements most cost-effectively,
he says. Brett explains that tablets
are more relevant to such enterprise
workers as sales people and execu-
tives, though an executive’s desire
for tablets may be based on image
vs. needs. “Then there are those in
between. Even in the latter cases,
usefulness—measured in ROI—will
only occur if there are supporting
applications and apps that make a
tablet relevant to a task or job,” Brett
says. “Such applications and apps
don’t happen overnight. Remember
that PCs already work and thus may
be cheaper for obtaining short-term
benefts. Always ask who is going to
use what and why.”
Bob Egan, Sepharim Group (www
.sepharimgroup.com) CEO and founder,
also believes tablets can’t yet replace
PCs companywide. Companies that
have tried end up buying keyboards
for the tablet but fnd the tablet-key-
board “combination isn’t as comfort-
able or productive to use as a PC,”
he says. Egan says he sees tablets as
generally augmenting PC installa-
tions, not replacing them. “Tablets
are mostly being used by high-level
execs and feld force personnel, espe-
cially sales,” he says. “Tablets are not
PC replacements.”
In terms of integrating with en-
terprise applications, Brett says it
is possible, but the process is rarely
simple and not yet as easy as it is
with PCs. Acquiring tablets isn’t just
a question of buying them and ob-
taining enterprise benefts, he says.
“Only if there are supporting ap-
plications and apps that make the
tablet relevant to a task or job will
tablets become effective,” he says.
Purchasing tablet-optimized applica-
tions can accelerate the process, but
he explains that doing this “in order
“Only if there are supporting applications
and apps that make the tablet relevant to
a task or job will tablets become effective.”
Bob Egan
CEO and founder, Sepharim Group
PC Today / October 2013 47
tablet platforms, cost-effectiveness,
and other factors playing roles. Still,
while iPad dominates the U.S. busi-
ness market currently, Borg says, there
will come a point when “we have to
talk about what comes after tablets.”
Other form factors will surface that
will “matter as much or more” than
tablets, he says.
Moving into next year, Borg sees
two extremes developing for the
tablet market. At the low end, he
expects tablets to follow a trend now
occurring with smartphones in that
low-end models are becoming very
affordable. At the very high end,
Borg says tablets could emerge with
a minimum of quad-core processing,
more integrated RAM, longer bat-
tery life, higher resolution displays,
even thinner and lighter form fac-
tors, as well as more mature enter-
prise ecosystems to support and
manage them.
Borg says while initial tablets were
dismissed as not having business-
ready tools available, “with security
ecosystems and cloud effectively
built into tablets, that argument is
dissipating, if not dissolving. With
high-end tablets widely available
in 2014, we should move past the
argument that tablets aren’t busi-
ness-ready,” he says. For compa-
nies facing, say, a three- to fve-year
laptop refresh cycle in 2014, Borg
says the question is “are you going
to buy all your users laptops or may
you buy tablets for feld sales, execu-
tives, and applicable groups?” He ex-
pects we’ll start to see “tablets begin
to replace laptops in their normal
acquisition cycle in 2014.” ●
“personal device." Sharing content
with one person is diffcult, he says,
but “forget about sharing content
in person with more than one per-
son. You can’t.” Tablets are ideal for
collaboration and sharing, he says.
“Two, three, or even fve people can
gather around a tablet and actually
get a lot of work done” in terms of
sharing information, viewing data
analysis, and consuming media,
he says.
Compared with tablets, Borg
believes Ultrabooks present some
benefits (sleekness, long battery
life, business-ready qualities, etc.)
although they’re a bit pricey cur-
rently. “They’re defnitely an exec-
utive toy,” he says. “The question
is, for the majority of your workers,
are you going to buy an Ultrabook
for a premium price or a tablet?”
Executives may get both, but it’s
doubtful the rest of the organiza-
tion will get two pieces of hard-
ware to replace a laptop, he says.
If Ultrabook pricing comes down,
however, a true three-tier ecosystem
could develop in 2014, he says.
Brett sees Ultrabook and tablets
on a probable collision course, “at
least until a tablet has Ultrabook pro-
cessing requirements.” Essentially,
the devices fill a similar space, he
says, though Ultrabooks are more ex-
pensive but with better processing
ability. “Remember that PCs already
work and thus may be cheaper for
obtaining short-term benefits. This
is the Ultrabook’s real advantage,”
he says.
Although sales of Microsoft tab-
lets have trailed those of Apple and
Android tablets, many pundits be-
lieve that at least from a business
and IT outlook, Microsoft tablets
provide a few notable advantages
over the other two platforms. One
advantage is compatibility, because
a vast number of businesses already
run Microsoft OSes and business,
productivity, enterprise, and other
software. Egan says a big challenge
with iOS and Android tablets is nei-
ther have a solid file management
system, “especially one that meets
the generally accepted principles of
legal and audit compliance trails.”
Brett says with some changes (“cur-
rently Windows 8 devices remain too
large, too heavy, and too landscape in
orientation”), the fnancial and prac-
tical advantages of using Windows
tablets could be signifcant for enter-
prises in terms of “using the same
infrastructure, applications, and de-
velopment skills without having to
adopt iOS and Android ones.”
From a technical and capability
perspective, “Microsoft’s strategy
is probably the most well thought
out, most tightly integrated strategy
for both OS and business applica-
tions available on any tablet,” Borg
says. Although Surface Pro is stable
technology that’s business-oriented,
well-integrated, and offers tremen-
dous potential, Microsoft’s initial
technology integration and its recent
marketing and evangelism “has been
lacking,” he says.
Borg says current Windows tablet
business adoption is “miniscule"
vs. Apple and Android adoption.
Aberdeen Group research, however,
indicates when asking business-re-
lated respondents of their plans and
budgets for tablets for 2013, “the ratios
involved almost invert themselves.”
Specifcally, 35% of respondents indi-
cate plans to adopt Windows Surface
tablets. Adjust for the “Microsoft mo-
bile reality factor,” or viewing over
past years what respondents indi-
cated vs. actually acquired and the
2013 projected adoption drops to 4%,
with employee demands for other
There will come a point when “we
have to talk about what comes after
Andrew Borg
research director for enterprise mobility and collaboration, Aberdeen Group
48 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
more businesses than ever are
opening their own enterprise app
stores, and some are using the options
vendors include in their MDM (mo-
bile device management) and MAM
(mobile application management) solu-
tions. Why? Primarily due to the BYOD
(bring your own device), or “consum-
erization,” trend and the inherent se-
curity and device-management issues
that come with employees using their
mobile devices in the workplace.
Couple BYOD with the malware is-
sues related to the apps that employees
download from consumer apps stores,
says Paula Musich, principal analyst
Enterprise App Stores
Provide Employees Alternatives To Third-Party Consumer Apps
with Current Analyis (www.current
analysis.com), and enterprises are feeling
the need to get a handle on the BYOD
phenomenon. Furthermore, compli-
ance concerns related to employee
mobile devices in the enterprise will
be a growing issue moving forward,
Musich says. “It’s important for enter-
prises to try and get out ahead of that
looming problem and get a handle on
employees’ use of those devices in the
enterprise,” she says.
Opening an enterprise app store
is one approach, and an increasing
number of businesses are doing it. A
2012 AppCentral survey of 200 people
from 100-plus companies found 19%
had implemented an enterprise app
store. A Symantec 2012 survey of 6,000-
plus organizations found 66% of IT
professionals indicated their compa-
nies were considering it. More recently,
Gartner predicted that by 2017 25% of
enterprises will have a store in place to
manage corporate-approved apps for
PCs and mobile devices.
For enterprises considering creating
a store, there are numerous benefits
to be had. The following details those,
as well as how to create a store that
is flled with useful, quality apps em-
ployees will frequently use.
The BYOD trend and
malware issues related
to consumer app stores
are prompting some
enterprises to consider
creating their own app
Many vendors now
provide ready-made
enterprise app store
solutions through their
mobile device and ap-
plication management
Companies must fll
the enterprise app
store with high-quality
and highly useful apps
in order for employees
to view the experience
as rewarding.
Enterprise app stores enable
companies to, among other
things, offer safe alternatives
to the consumer-oriented apps
that employees may already
be using to access and share
company data.
PC Today / October 2013 49
Fundamentally, says Tim Shepard,
Canalys (www.canalys.com) senior ana-
lyst, an enterprise app store operates as
a repository and delivery channel for
apps similar to consumer app stores but
tailored to business users. “Particularly
in a world where the ‘bring your own
device’ trend is seeing more employees
bringing smartphones, tablets, and
other devices into work, access to useful
vetted apps is critical if employee mobi-
lization is to deliver promised benefts
of increased responsiveness, produc-
tivity, and collaboration,” Shepard says.
“Enterprise app stores are a means of
achieving this.”
Typically, apps are categorized and
segmented in the stores, and the pur-
chasing of apps is usually handled via
multiuser licensing or volume purchase
invoicing vs. ad-hoc credit card pay-
ments, he says. Additionally, businesses
typically set controls on which apps em-
ployees can download and access.
Enterprise app stores also enable
changing software distribution from a
push model where the corporation de-
cides which software goes on the device
to a pull or self-service model where
employees decide, says Ian Finley,
research vice president with Gartner
(www.gartner.com). “We talk about it as
an app store because the most visible,
most consumer version is the public app
stores that Apple and Google run,” he
says. “The concept, though, will work
with any type of application: SaaS [soft-
ware as a service], PC, mobile.”
What’s really driving the concept
of an enterprise app store today, says
Michele Pelino, principal analyst with
Forrester Research (www.forrester.com), is
rather than focuses on the devices them-
selves, enterprises are now focusing on
the apps. This includes ensuring the
company has a sense of which app ver-
sions various business teams are using,
which app versions best ft employees
in particular countries, and how re-
spective apps represent the company’s
brand and value, she says.
Ultimately, Musich says, “while IT
may think it has some kind of control
“They are more than B2B software mar-
ketplaces designed to promote software
vendors’ partner ecosystems . . .”
Tim Shepard
senior analyst, Canalys
“[The app store concept] will work
with any type of application: SaaS, PC,
Ian Finley
research vice president, Gartner
over employees’ use of applications, I
think they’re kidding themselves. The
horse is already out of the barn where
it comes to BYOD, and employees are
going to do what they think is best for
them to be productive and their work,
and increasingly they have other op-
tions outside of relying on IT when it
comes to technology usage.”
Two commonly cited benefts of en-
terprise app stores include control and
pushing sanctioned apps to employees.
Many employees, for example, use con-
sumer-focused services on mobile de-
vices to access corporate documents for
collaboration and effciency purposes.
Such services, however, lack proper en-
terprise-grade security controls, Musich
says. An enterprise app store enables
businesses to vet and distribute alterna-
tives that place a stronger focus on pri-
vacy, she says. Elsewhere, enabling IT to
push approved apps to employees that
represent and protect the company’s
brand, says Pelino, an enterprise app
store enables targeting apps at different
groups or activities. Human resources,
for example, might push the same
training-based apps to all users but line-
of-business managers push only specifc
apps to only their employees. In an-
other example, an enterprise app store
enables IT to implement some of the
same flexibility employees are used
to with consumer apps stores, Pelino
says, and leverage the idea of “we’re
working with you. Tell us what you
feel would be valuable and helpful.”
Shepard says among the areas en-
terprises are building custom apps for
presently include field enablement,
business intelligence, customer service,
information sharing, collaboration and
workfow enhancement, training, mar-
keting resources, approvals processes,
resource booking/allocation, and gen-
eral business tools. They’re doing so,
he says, to increase productivity and
responsiveness via mobility, enhance
internal communication, reduce costs,
improve customer experience and
brand value, grant greater access to
information for decision-making, and
streamline processes and provide more
effective tools.
Among companies starting enter-
prise app stores, says Pelino, are those
within heavily regulated environments,
including fnancial services, retail, and
health care. Businesses that have pow-
erful brands they want protected are
also good candidates, she says.
Shepard describes two enterprise
app store models: external and internal.
External varieties are managed and
hosted by providers that “act as show-
cases supporting developer ecosystems
and offer third-party apps accessible
by any enterprise.” Simplifed app pro-
curement; discovering, downloading,
50 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
and testing apps; and possibly exploring
technical compatibilities before pur-
chase are benefits, he says. Solutions
may also include an ecommerce en-
gine or refer buyers to app developers.
“They are more than B2B software mar-
ketplaces designed to promote software
vendors’ partner ecosystems and indi-
rectly drive sales of core enterprise ap-
plications,” he says.
Internal app stores, meanwhile, are
managed by IT departments and pro-
vide secure, self-service distribution
with employee access to company-
owned or approved apps relevant to
job functions. Primarily, Shepard says,
internal stores act as a central app
archive for on-demand downloads
and are often integrated with secu-
rity or device-management offerings.
“Between these two models, there is
a spectrum of hybrids, perhaps where
a store is externally hosted and multi-
client, yet offered with a customized
front end and with content controls
given to organizations,” Shepard says.
Companies, Finley says, can come at
the app store notion from several points
of view. The most common is the worry
of employee devices containing infected
apps being brought into the organiza-
tion, connecting to the network, and
accessing corporate data. “So the appeal
of the app store in that environment is
control,” he says.
A second point of view is driven
by efficiency, he says. An organiza-
tion, for example, determines the cur-
rent processes and tools for requesting
and provisioning apps to individual
devices are ineffcient. Requesting and
receiving specifc software for a project,
for example, might take two or three
weeks, whereas a self-service app store
enables users to get what they need, the
company to track what’s being used
(which can save considerable money on
licensing), and speed up the allocation
of tools to anywhere from instantaneous
to a couple of hours, Finley says.
Creating an enterprise app store and
employees actually using are it are two
“It’s important for enterprises to . . . get a
handle on employees’ use of those devices
in the enterprise.”
Paula Musich
principal analyst, Current Analysis
“Make sure you consistently educate folks
that these app stores exist within your
Michele Pelino
principal analyst, Forrester Research
different things. In terms of driving
usage, Pelino says, ensure employees
know that the store is available. This
means more than sending an email.
“Make sure you consistently educate
folks that these app stores exist within
your organization. Make sure you’re
educating your business decision
makers that you’re creating applica-
tions and services and that this applica-
tions environment is a beneft to them,”
she says. “Also ensure the apps pro-
vided are relevant, useful, and valuable
to the point you’re showing employees
the store is the place to come for apps,
she says. This can involve parts educa-
tion and highlighting apps and uses,
getting IT and business departments
on board to propel usage, and planning
the ongoing updating of contents. “
Finley says that because em-
ployees understand the ins and outs
of using consumer app stores, “they’ll
just know” how to use the corporate
store, including how to provide valu-
able feedback the company can use.
Companies, however, “must be careful
of confusing the store with what’s in
the store. This is probably the biggest
mistake,” Finley says.
Specifcally, Finley says, “If I build
a store and put nothing in it, it’s not
a very good store. The challenge that
most enterprises have is that when you
say ‘enterprise app store,’ people think
I’m going to walk into this store and
have a wide array of choices . . . but
when you look at most enterprise app
stores, there’s only one or two choices
for each category.” Users, however,
are used to having many choices per
category, which “just points out even
more glaringly to the users that you’re
doing a poor job. You haven’t given
them something that’s of quality, and
you’re restricting them to only some-
thing that’s of poor quality,” he says.
To combat this possibility, Finley
advises starting an enterprise app
store by initially focusing on a small
subset of users and on getting a good
selection of apps for them and ex-
pand from there. So, for example, if
the company has a large sales force
using mobile devices and wants to
create an app store in order to block
them from downloading apps from
public app stores, ensure to provide
them all the apps they need so the ex-
perience is rewarding and they have
choices rather than make one app
ft everyone.
“The key issue here is choice,” he
says. “When people go into building an
app store, they focus on the store when
really they should be focusing on what
goes into the store. By starting with a
small group of people and one audi-
ence and focusing on what they need
and making sure all the applications
they need are there and then expanding,
they’re going to be a lot more successful
than if trying to rollout an app store
for everybody.” ●
PC Today / October 2013 51
For businesses, guest Wi-Fi hotspots
are great for providing customers
and visitors with an Internet con-
nection without giving them access
to the company’s private network.
Home users can even benefit from
setting up a separate Wi-Fi hotspot
to provide wireless access to their
Internet connection when friends or
family come over to visit. Although
this article is geared toward small
to mid-sized businesses, it includes
information that is also applicable
to larger businesses and consumers.
We will describe what you need to
get started, as well as what to expect
along the way. Setting up a guest
Wi-Fi hotspot is a relatively simple
task, whether you want to use an ex-
isting router or consider a new model
Add A Guest
Wi-Fi Hotspot
Establish A Separate, Public Wireless Network For Guest Access
that includes features that make it
more appropriate for sharing a Wi-Fi
A strong, stable Internet connec-
tion is the foundation on which you
will set up your guest Wi-Fi hotspot.
Having a good connection that works
properly will stave off potential
questions and complaints, particu-
larly if you go out of your way to ad-
vertise your free wireless network
to customers or visitors. Pin down
the approximate number of simul-
taneous connections you expect the
hotspot to support at any given time
and use that fgure to determine (1)
what type of Internet connection you
need and (2) what router capabilities
are necessary to handle the expected
amount of traffc.
For example, some ISPs (Internet
service providers) offer DSL (digital
subscriber line) speeds, which are
often much lower than broadband
speeds that can reach as high as
30Mbps or more. A simple broadband
line would be plenty if you plan on
only having a few connections at a
time. However, if you think you’ll
need to support a large amount of
traffic, you may want to consider
newer Internet access types, such as
fiber or power-line. Note that these
services are only available in certain
areas and will be more expensive than
broadband, so you may just want to
ask if your ISP offers a faster broad-
band service instead.
52 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
If you plan to use one wireless
router to support two separate net-
works, look for a business-class
router that supports a maximum data
transfer speed of at least 300Mbps;
some models will support much faster
rates. The appropriate router speed for
your environment depends on how
you use your internal network and
how much bandwidth you want to
give your guests.
It doesn’t hurt to opt for a dual-
band router, if possible, because it
will operate on both the 2.4GHz fre-
quency (which most current and older
devices support) and the 5GHz fre-
quency (which 802.11n and newer de-
vices support, and which offers faster
data transfer speeds). Most dual-band
routers offer the choice of broad-
casting in 2.4GHz, 5GHz, or both si-
multaneously to support the widest
range of devices and prevent signal
You also want to look for a wireless
router that includes built-in features
that let you easily create two com-
pletely separate networks: one you
can use for your company’s internal
network, and one you can use to pro-
vide wireless Internet access for guests
with Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
Wireless routers and access points
can range in price from $20 up to as
much as $300 or more depending on
speed and feature sets, so make sure
you only pay for functionality that
you and your customers or visitors are
likely to use.
All wireless routers come with soft-
ware that enables you to change the
router’s settings. The software might
be included on a disc or accessible
only via an IP address. Once installed,
you should be able to access the rout-
er’s settings through an IP portal.
To do this, you simply open a Web
browser, type the appropriate IP ad-
dress for your router into the brows-
er’s address bar (a commonly used
IP address, but you can
search the Web or the router manufac-
turer’s website to locate the address
for your router), and manage the rout-
er’s settings as desired.
If you find the perfect router and
it doesn’t come with sufficient bun-
dled software, you can always use free
frmware that will allow you to set up
two separate networks (one internal,
one guest) along with additional fea-
tures. CoovaAP is one example of free
frmware that is commonly used for
this purpose.
Once you have all of the hardware
and software you need for a Wi-Fi
hotspot, it’s time to get it up and run-
ning. Most mainstream routers sold
in the U.S. market will have software
that is intuitive to use and makes a
simple task of adding a guest hotspot.
With some routers, it’s as easy as
clicking “Yes” to allow guest access,
but with other routers you may need
to follow more steps or launch a setup
wizard. Because there are variations in
this process depending on the device
and manufacturer, check the manual
for instructions specifc to your router.
In the process of using the router’s
software to establish a guest Wi-Fi
guest hotspot, you will discover rel-
evant settings that provide you with
further control over the hotspot. For
instance, router software typically al-
lows you to set specific days of the
week and ranges of time during which
the guest network can be accessed.
Use these settings to make sure the
hotspot is available when you’re open
for business and off when you’re
closed; this prevents unwanted, unau-
thorized access.
Perhaps the most important thing
to think about when setting up a
public Wi-Fi hotspot is to make
sure that your guest hotspot is sep-
arate from your company network.
Most routers support WEP (Wired
Equivalency Privacy), WPA (Wi-Fi
Protected Access), and the newer
WPA2 technologies, which provide
for encryption and password protec-
tion. Use one of these settings as a
minimum safeguard from potential
unauthorized access or abuse; we rec-
ommend using WPA2 as it provides
the best security.
From a guest’s perspective, Wi-Fi
security means that they will have
to fnd or enter the SSID (service set
identifer, or network name) as well
as enter a password in order to log on
to the network. You might also want
to consider requiring guest users to
accept a ToS (Terms of Service) agree-
ment. You can do this by employing
a captive portal, which is essentially
a splash page users will see on their
device screen when logging on to the
network. Many business-class routers
come with an option to quickly set up
a captive portal.
Using router settings, you can im-
pose bandwidth controls to prevent
a burden on your network’s perfor-
mance. You can also set guest connec-
tion time limits and designate which
websites or applications are permitted
to use the hotspot. It’s also possible
to charge a fee for using the hotspot.
Once you have installed any necessary
hardware (routers and access points),
adjusted the settings, and turned on
your guest Wi-Fi network, it’s ready
to be discovered and used. ●
PC Today / October 2013 53
If your business has yet to adopt
a BYOD (bring your own device)
policy, doing so may be inevitable.
That’s according to some experts who
say employees are increasingly dic-
tating the tools they require for top
productivity and will circumvent bar-
riers that restrict them from doing so.
A BYOD policy can give employees
what they want while enabling com-
panies to maintain a level of control,
but implementing such a policy re-
quires careful consideration.
Arguably the frst and most impor-
tant consideration businesses must
tackle is if they even want to accept
the risks associated with adopting
a policy enabling outside devices to
access company resources via the
10 Considerations For
BYOD Policies
Key Issues To Tackle Regarding Employee Devices In The Workplace
company’s network. If so, businesses
must then decide how much risk is
acceptable. Companies that operate
under stringent legal and compliance
requirements (healthcare, financial,
etc.), for example, may ultimately de-
cide that the potential liabilities as-
sociated with adopting a BYOD policy
outweigh the possible benefts.
Some experts believe the core of
a BYOD policy is pinpointing which
employees should be eligible to
participate. Many companies place
less emphasis on device type eligi-
bility than user eligibility, with the
philosophy being that doing so lets
businesses focus more on security,
data protection, and permissions.
Generally, not every employee must
participate. Further, a manager is
likely to require greater access to
sensitive data and other resources
than other employees who may only
warrant corporate email and basic
toolsets. Elsewhere, companies must
decide if stipends or reimbursements
are due to certain users, for what
(voice and data usage, roaming, etc.),
and in what amount.
Adopting a BYOD policy doesn’t
mean a company must necessarily
support every device and platform.
It may decide to support smart-
phones but not tablets, for example,
or only allow certain device makes,
models, and OS versions. Platform-
wise, a business may determine it
54 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
will allow, say, iOS devices but not
Android units or vice versa due to
the differences between the plat-
forms. Regardless of the devices
supported, it’s generally best to bar
all jail-broken devices from par-
ticipation and require acceptable
devices to undergo a registration
and authentication process before
their users can access corporate re-
sources. Companies must also de-
cide which apps are acceptable for
use and if providing a corporate
app store is worthwhile.
Preventing data leakage is un-
doubtedly a goal of every company
that adopts a BYOD policy. How to
go about this, however, can differ
drastically. Various topics to address
include what and how much corpo-
rate data employees can store on their
devices, how data will transmit over
the corporate network, restrictions
for using corporate data on cloud-
based services, multi-factor authenti-
cation usage, if and how to remotely
wipe data in cases of lost or stolen
devices, and if an MDM (mobile de-
vice management) or MAM (mobile
application management) solution
is worthwhile. Another key issue is
the procedure the company will use
when employees resign, are fred, or
exchange devices.
Beyond network capacity issues
that adding scores of new devices to
a corporate network will generate,
businesses must address concerns
related to secure access, malware
prevention (including malware infec-
tions in third-party apps users in-
stall), authentication, encryption, and
more. One solution is using an MDM
tool to handle device Wi-Fi confgu-
rations, as well as to provide mobility
and security management abilities,
including connectivity and data fow
management. Many network moni-
toring and management tools, mean-
while, provide control over network
access and can identify device types.
Guest networks can be employed to
grant access to unsecured devices.
One of the most difficult tasks
companies face in adopting a BYOD
policy is reaching a balance between
the need to protect data and secure
resources and meeting the privacy
expectations of employees regarding
the personal data on their devices.
Questions to address include how
much personal data is the company
entitled to collect and view, who is
authorized to monitor and view it,
and should personal data be con-
tained or separated from corporate
data on the device? General advice
is to clearly spell out any decisions
made regarding privacy in the policy,
make employees aware of those deci-
sions, and obtain employees’ agree-
ment and consent. Many experts
also recommend seeking employees’
input before developing policy.
One belief concerning BYOD poli-
cies is that because employees use
devices they own, they take better
physical care of them, are less likely
to lose them, and will take the ini-
tiative to solve problems themselves
when they occur. Still, BYOD policies
should outline which types of sup-
port (if any) the company will pro-
vide. Considerations include exactly
which support problems users are
responsible for, which support prob-
lems the company is responsible for,
which employees are eligible for sup-
port (only managers, revenue pro-
ducers, etc., for example), which apps
the business will support, and how
users will make support requests.
Initially at least, adopting a BYOD
policy can add diffculty for IT per-
sonnel in terms of increased responsi-
bilities where endpoint security, data
and application security, user authen-
tication, application management and
network access, and other issues are
concerned. Conversely, a potentially
significant benefit of implementing
a BYOD policy is that it can lead IT
from spending a lion’s share of its
focus on actual device management
to spending more time on how it
can enable employees to better ac-
complish given responsibilities. For
example, rather than spending time
remedying device issues—something
users will likely do more of them-
selves—IT can focus more on exactly
which apps and data specifc users or
groups require on their devices.
Nearly all experts agree that for
a BYOD policy to be effective, the
company has to not only make em-
ployees aware of the policy, but also
effectively communicate the policy
and ensure employees are notified
of changes made to it. Following
training on BYOD procedures, most
advice suggests acquiring consent
from employees before their enroll-
ment and participation. Enforcement
of the policy is also vital. Companies
must determine consequences if users
violate the policy and detail and
communicate those consequences.
Violations can cover issues regarding
failing to report lost or stolen de-
vices, sidestepping acceptable usage
requirements, or installing banned
apps on devices.
For most compani es, i mpl e-
menting a BYOD policy will be a
work in progress. After enacting a
BYOD policy, continuously obtaining
feedback from employees concerning
what is working and what is not,
unexpected concerns that have sur-
faced, and improvements that can be
made is important. Also important
is monitoring for policy violations,
reviewing any usage that jeopardizes
compliance, overall general device
activity, and where productivity has
improved or not. Here, an MDM or
MAM solution can prove helpful. ●
PC Today / October 2013 55
Smartphone Tips
K e y s To Ty p i n g , S e a r c h i n g & Mo r e
➤ Windows Phone 8 supports more than 40 languages with separate on-screen
keyboards for each. Of those, Windows Phone 8 provides automatic text sugges-
tions while you type for more than 30 languages. By default, Windows Phone 8
smartphones sold in the U.S. market will come with the U.S. English keyboard
active and ready to use. If you add one or more foreign language keyboards, a
language button will be added to the keyboard, allowing you to switch quickly be-
tween keyboards for different languages. To add a keyboard, access Settings, tap
Keyboard, tap Add Keyboard, select each keyboard you would like to add, and
tap the Add button. To remove a keyboard, follow the same steps but tap Remove
at the end.
➤ If you’re typing and need to insert just the occasional special character, you can
do so without switching to a different keyboard. Press and hold the Numbers And
Symbols (&123) key and, without removing your fnger from the screen, move
your fngertip until it lands on the character you wish to type. The Numbers And
Symbols key is also helpful when you need to enter an email address or website
URL and fnd that the domain (.com) and at symbol (@) keys are not present on the
keyboard provided.
➤To clear your browser
history and access other
Internet Explorer settings on
a Windows Phone 8 smart-
phone, open Internet Explorer,
tap the More button (three
dots), tap Settings, and tap the
Delete History button. In ad-
dition to erasing the browser
history, this will erase cookies,
temporary Internet files, and
any saved passwords. Before
you leave this screen you can
also tap Advanced Settings to
access additional settings that
let you control how Internet
Explorer’s search and other
functions behave.
56 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
➤With the Google Now app in-
stalled on your Android smart-
phone, you can quickly search your
device or the Web by either typing
or speaking a search query. Google
recently updated the app based on
user feedback, so now in addition to
being able to search for such things
as certain contacts or Web destina-
tions, you can ask for information
that pertains specifcally to your re-
cent activities and upcoming plans,
provided you have used Google ser-
vices to keep track of these things.
Here are some of the new query for-
mats available, according to Google:
r “What is my fight status?” will
keep you abreast of current and
upcoming fight statuses based
on real-time information
r “Where are my purchases?”
will serve up current tracking
and delivery information about
recent purchases
r “What are my plans for . . .?”
will summarize your agenda
for the next day, a specifc date,
or whatever point in time you
ask about
r “Show me my photos of . . .”
will bring up photos based on
whatever criteria you search for
(provided Google recognizes it)
➤Newer Android devices include the Swype on-screen keyboard, which
lets you glide your fnger from one letter to the next to spell a word without
having to press each letter separately. As with any small-screen keyboard,
the results can sometimes differ from what you intended to type, either be-
cause you touched a few wrong keys or because the keyboard’s auto-correct
feature incorrectly assumed you were trying to type a different word. After
you enter a word that Swype doesn’t recognize, it is added to the Swype
dictionary. If at some point you would like to clear your added words from
the Swype dictionary, access Settings; tap My Device, Language & Input,
Preferences, and Reset Swype’s Dictionary; tap the pop-up box option to con-
frm that you want to take this action.
➤To add a foreign language dictionary in
Android, open Settings, tap Language & Input,
tap Touch Input, tap International Keyboard,
scroll to fnd the keyboards you wish to add,
and check them as you fnd them. Now, when
you are typing on Android’s on-screen key-
board, you will be able to tap the international
keyboard (globe icon) key and select the key-
board you want from the pop-up list.
➤Typing on a smartphone is awkward at best,
so we’re fans of anything that can speed up the
process. The default Android keyboard appli-
cation has an auto-complete function and User
Dictionary that lets you add words to it that
appear as you type. Tapping the word above
the keyboard puts it into the text box, shaving
precious seconds off your emails, text messages,
and other mobile missives. It works great for
generic words and phrases, but falls fat when typing unique items such as
full names, email addresses, and unusual words you fnd yourself typing fre-
quently. By manually adding such information, your Android device can dis-
play them as auto-complete options. If you use an older version of Android
(version 2.1 or earlier), you may need to enable Auto-Complete before you
can start building your User Dictionary. On these older devices, press the
Menu key; tap Settings, Locale & Text, and Android Keyboard; and then
click the checkbox beside Auto-Complete. Android 2.2 and newer devices
have Auto-Complete automatically enabled, and you can start editing the
User Dictionary right away.
Google Now wants to be
your personal assistant.
You can add multiple foreign
language keyboards to your
Android smartphone.
PC Today / October 2013 57
➤ Just because you’re using a
cell phone to type your emails
doesn’t mean people will for-
give your spelling errors. And if
you’re using a BlackBerry to type
your emails, you really have no
excuse because a spell check fea-
ture is available. To spell-check
a message, calendar entry, task,
or memo, just type the message,
press the Menu key, and select
Check Spelling. The spell checker
highlights words not in the dic-
tionary and lets you scroll to and
select the appropriate spelling.
➤ Threaded email messages have
been available since BlackBerry
6. Bl ackBer r y’ s suppor t f or
threaded messages is very sim-
ilar to Gmail’s threaded system,
so i f you’ re used t o Gmai l ,
BlackBerry’s threaded messaging
system should be a breeze.
To make it even easier, there
are two keyboard shortcuts that
let you quickly navigate mes-
sages. Press J to move to the next
oldest message in a thread; press
K to move to the next newest
➤Your BlackBerry has dozens of shortcuts to make things easy when you’re out
and about. Here’s a selection of our favorite shortcuts that are designed to help
you quickly search for and fnd what you need on your BlackBerry:
r In your Contacts list, begin typing the name of a contact or type the con-
tact’s initials separated by a space to quickly jump to the desired contact.
r From within a text message, press the S key to perform a text search.
r To perform a text search within a fle or attachment or on a Web page,
press the F key.
r To search for text in a Presentation, make sure you’re viewing it in text
view or text and slide view, and then press the F key.
➤ Among the most useful features
introduced with BlackBerry OS 10 is
the BlackBerry Hub. The BlackBerry
Hub essentially consolidates all of
your messaging and notifications
in one place so that you’re always
alerted to incoming messages from
all of your services. Rather than
having to exit Email, for example,
to launch a social media app and
check to see if there are any new
messages there, you can view all in-
coming messages in the BlackBerry
Hub. And whether you are using the
BlackBerry Hub or a non-messaging
app, your BlackBerry will notify you
whenever there is a new message or
device notification.
To add an ac c ount t o t he
BlackBerry Hub, access Settings, se-
lect Accounts, tap the Add Account
icon, select the account type, enter
the required information (typically
username and password), tap next,
review the settings and preferences
and make adjustments if necessary,
and tap Done. In addition to accessing standard email and BlackBerry
Messenger, you can use the BlackBerry Hub to access your LinkedIn,
Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Whenever you change an account pass-
word, access Settings, select Accounts, tap the affected account name, make
the necessary changes, and tap Save.
BlackBerry OS 10 includes the BlackBerry
Hub, which puts all of your messaging
services in one place.
Use shortcuts to
speed things up.
58 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
➤Sometimes when you type a few letters, Apple’s iOS keyboard dictionary
automatically suggests an entire word. In some cases, this saves you the
trouble of typing the remaining letters. In other cases, the word isn’t what
you intend to type, so you continue typing. When you type a word that isn’t
already in the keyboard dictionary, iOS automatically adds it for you. As
with auto-correct features, this can be a good thing or an annoyance. If, for
whatever reason, you would like to get rid of all of the typed words that iOS
has added to the keyboard dictionary, open Settings, tap General, tap Reset,
and select the Reset The Keyboard Dictionary option. If you have a PIN lock
set up for the iPhone, you will be asked to enter that code.
➤When you enter a URL into your iOS Safari browser, there’s a handy .com
key on the keyboard that saves a little typing. With one tap, you can enter
four characters at once, and quickly be taken to the website you entered.
Although there isn’t a key dedicated to other popular top-level domains,
such as .edu or .org., if you press and hold the .com key, it will produce a list
of top-level domains you can enter instead.
➤Having to enter a submenu just to access the apostrophe really muddles
typing words with apostrophes, such as the conjunctions it’s, we’ll, we’re,
and they’re. Often times, your iPhone automatically suggests the appropriate
word, which lets you press the Space key to input it. When auto suggest ut-
terly fails to read your mind, however, you can type certain words a certain
way to get auto suggest to display the word you want. To type it’s, we’ll,
we’re, or they’re, just type itss, welll, weree, and theyrr, respectively, followed
by a Space.
➤You probably already knew the
iPhone’s Spotlight Search capability
is designed to mimic the universal
search function found in other de-
vices, but what you may not have
known is that you can remove items
from the list of indexed sources to
speed up your device, or just elimi-
nate items you never search for. To
access the Spotlight Search settings,
access Settings and tap General,
Home Button, and Spotlight Search.
You can rearrange the sources to
give a higher priority to Mail, for
instance, by tapping on the right
side of the Mail source and dragging
it up to the top of the list. You can
also tap the check marks on the left
side of each source to eliminate them
from Spotlight Searches. Reducing
the number of sources here can also
speed up your searches.
➤Spotlight search lets you explore
results from the Web and Wikipedia
without frst launching Safari. Swipe
to the right from the main Home
screen to access the Spotlight search
screen, and then type your query
into the search box. Scroll past the
contacts, apps, calendar entries, and
other results until you get to the Web
and Wikipedia results at the bottom.
Do unwanted words keep
popping up in auto-correct?
You can nix them by resetting
the dictionary.
i O S
Keyboard features
promote precision.
PC Today / October 2013 59
Although it would greatly sim-
plify matters if every smartphone,
tablet, and portable media player
handled the same types of video
files, they don’t. That’s because
video files are created, stored, and
transferred using different means.
Thus, while one smartphone may
play MPEG-4 or H.264 video just
fne, it may not support the playback
of a 3GPP2 video fle. Arguably, the
easiest way to determine exactly
which video formats a specific de-
vice will play is to simply check the
device’s specifcations. This informa-
tion is nearly always available on
the device manufacturer’s website,
as well as within the device’s user
manual and on the product box.
We will cover the details about
some of the most common video for-
mats that mobile devices currently
support and explain how video fles
can vary in size and quality. First,
Video Formats
A Quick Guide
let’s look at how video fles are stored
and played.
One of the most confusing aspects
concerning video files involves un-
derstanding codecs, containers, and
the difference between the two.
Where video files are concerned, a
codec is a program that compresses
and decompresses video data; the
term itself is a portmanteau of “com-
pressor” and “decompressor.” To
accomplish these tasks, codecs use
algorithms. Codecs are also often de-
scribed as the equivalent of a set of
instructions in the sense that a codec
dictates to a device how it should go
about playing a media fle.
A codec compresses a video stream
in order to reduce the size for the more
convenient storage and transfer of
the video. Most codecs use a “lossy”
approach for compression, meaning
certain data is omitted during the
compression process. Although this
process typically reduces a video’s
overall quality, not doing so would
A codecs compresses a video stream in order
to reduce the size for the more convenient storage
and transfer of the video. Most codecs use a “lossy”
approach for compression, meaning certain data is
omitted during the compression process.
60 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
frequently used for videos shared
via the Internet.
WebM. Developed by On2 Tech-
nologies, which Google acquired
in 2010, WebM is a royalty-free,
open-source container format that
contains the VP8 codec for video
streams and the Vorbis codec for
audio streams. Sometimes described
as “built for Web,” numerous Web
browsers and media players support
the WebM format.
WMV (Windows Media Video).
The WMV compression file format
for video is based on various pro-
prietary codecs from Microsoft. The
history of WMV fles goes back to the
early days of Internet streaming.
“Bit rate” refers to how much
data is delivered over a set time
limit and is measured in bps (bits
per second). There is a bit rate as-
sociated with any given media file.
In terms of video, the bit rate en-
compasses the video, audio, and
components of the file being deliv-
ered. Overall, a higher bit rate in-
dicates better quality. For example,
a video with an 8Mbps (mega-
bits per second) bit rate will offer
better qual i ty than one wi th a
2Mbps bit rate. Also worth noting
is that the codec used to encode
and compress a video file plays a
role in quality. Thus, two videos
of the same resolution with an
8Mbps bit rate could have differ-
ing quality due to different codecs
being used. ●
result in video files that consume a
considerable amount of storage
space and are inconvenient for
sharing. To play back a video file,
whether on a computer or mobile
device, a codec again uses algorithms
to decompress the video data. Be-
yond there being numerous types of
codecs—including H.264, Cinepak,
DivX, and MPEG-4, to name a few—
codecs differ in quality.
A container (also referred to as
a wrapper), meanwhile, essentially
does what its name suggests. In short,
a container serves as the packaging
that holds the various components
that make up a video, including the
video stream, audio tracks, menus,
subtitles, etc. A container can also
hold numerous types of codecs, in-
cluding audio and video codecs var-
ious devices need to play the video
fle. Common container types include
AVI, MKV, MP4, and OGG. In general,
think of a container as a grocery bag
that holds various types of groceries.
Typically, computer systems and
multimedia programs come with
a host of codecs that support the
playback of popular file formats,
although in some cases playing a cer-
tain fle may require the installation
of a specifc codec. Also noteworthy
is that to play a particular video fle,
a device or application must support
the container and codec in question.
Thus, a device might support a codec
wrapped within a container but not
support the container, leaving it un-
able to play the fle.
As mentioned, while one manu-
facturer’s device may support one
video format, a device from another
manufacturer may not.
The easiest method to check which
formats your device supports is refer-
encing the device’s specifcations on
the manufacturer’s website. The fol-
lowing are a few common video types.
3GPP and 3GPP2. The 3GPP (or
3GP) and 3GPP2 (or 3GP2) multime-
dia container formats are commonly
used by 3G-based mobile devices. The
3rd Generation Partnership Project de-
veloped the formats.
AVI (Audio Video Interleave).
Created i n the earl y 1990s by
Microsoft, AVI is a widely supported
container format that holds audio
and video data, including video
encoded by different codecs. This
means that although a device may
support AVI files, it may not sup-
port the codec contained within that
particular fle, leading to incompat-
ibilities. Compared to other popular
formats, AVI uses less compression,
therefore producing larger fles.
H. 264. Al so r ef er r ed t o as
MPEG-4 (Moving Picture Experts
Group-4) or AVC (Advanced Video
Coding), the H.264 video codec is
often incorrectly misidentifed as an
MP4 fle. In fact, MP4 is a container
format that typically holds H.264-
encoded video and AAC (Advanced
Audi o Codi ng)-encoded audi o.
Many other container formats also
support H.264. In general, the ex-
tremely popular H.264 codec is re-
garded as producing lower fle sizes
than other video codecs but with
better quality.
MOV (movie). Developed by Ap-
ple, the commonly used MOV con-
tainer format is used for video and
other digital multimedia content.
QuickTime movies use the .MOV
fle extension.
MPEG-4 Part 14. This container
format holds various types of mul-
timedia data, including audio and
video. MPEG-4 Part 14 fles, which
use the .MP4 file extension, are
Typically, computer systems and multimedia
programs come with a host of codecs that support
the playback of popular fle formats, although
in some cases playing a certain fle may require
the installation of a specifc codec.
PC Today / October 2013 61
The Latest Premium Electronics
➤ Epson’s four-color Expression Home XP-410 ($99.99; www.epson.com)
may have the word “small” in its moniker, but that doesn’t limit the
printer to being diminutive in stature where print, copy, and scan abili-
ties and performance are concerned. Measuring just 5.7 x 15.4 x 11.8
inches (HxWxD), the printer is particularly strong on providing wireless
connectivity options, including Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi Direct support, the latter
of which enables outputting prints without a router required. The Epson
Connect feature, meanwhile, offers users convenient mobile printing
and scanning options with iPrint, Email Print, Remote Print, and Scan
To Cloud. Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print compatibility is also
on tap An integrated 2.5-inch color LCD and memory card slots, mean-
while, means users won’t need a PC to edit and print their photos. Other
features include support for borderless photos and usage of instantly
drying inks.
62 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
➤ There are fast USB thumb drives, and
then there are really fast USB thumb drives.
Corsair’s Flash Voyager GT USB 3.0 128GB
flash memory drive ($149.99; www.corsair
.com) falls into the latter camp with data-
transfer rates (190MBps [megabytes per
second] read speeds/150MBps write speeds)
that Corsair states are two times as speedy as
standard USB 3.0 drives and eight times as
quick as USB 2.0 drives. Further, even when
using the red-and-black Flash Voyager GT
on an older system that lacks USB 3.0 sup-
port, Corsair claims its model is still one
of the speediest USB 2.0 drives available.
Housed in a rubber casing, the drive is shock-
resistant and water-resistant; compatible with
Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux (without
drivers); and has a limited five-year warranty.
➤ The 46-inch, 7.1-channel HT-ST7 ($1,299.99; www.sony.com) represents Sony’s
foray into the premium sound bar arena, and if first impressions are any indica-
tion, the leap was a successful one. The company states that unlike other sound
bars that focus on making a television louder, the mountable HT-ST7 will give
consumers a truly immersive 7.1-channel home theater experience. The sound
bar’s aluminum chassis includes seven distinct S-Master Digital Amplifiers that
fuel nine separate speakers, which use magnetic fluid technology that extends
the detail and clarity of mid and high ranges. Also included are a wireless
dual-driver subwoofer and support for S-Force Pro Front Surround technology,
Dolby TrueHD, and DTS-HD Master Audio. Setup is easy and requires only
a single cable, and wireless streaming with mobile devices is possible via
Bluetooth and OneTouch NFC support. The HT-ST7 can also support a variety
of AV components with its seven onboard inputs (three HDMI, three digital
audio, and one analog).
PC Today / October 2013 63
Just as there are now virtual or
cloud-based versions of software and
storage solutions that used to be
frmly entrenched in physical servers
and desktops, there are now Web
versions of Microsoft’s widely used
Office products. Word, Excel, and
other Office programs are included
in a hosted service called Offce 365
(ofce365.microsoft.com). But as familiar
as you may be with the functional-
ity of traditional Office products,
there are plenty of new capabilities,
features, and collaborative possibili-
ties to explore in the Web-based
version. We offer some practical tips
and how-to steps that will help you
advance from novice to experienced
Offce 365 user.
If your company uses SharePoint
Online, you can update or add pages
to your Public Website whether you’re
in the offce or on the road. Click the
Page tab and select Edit to start mak-
ing changes to an existing page—say,
to add new information and photos
for a new product, update a schedule,
or post to a blog. Use the Page tab
to change layouts, the Insert tab to add
content, or the Format Text tab to work
with text. Or click the Page tab and
select New to create an entirely new
page for the Public Website.
When you become an Offce 365 user,
you can activate a My Site website
where you can manage and share
docs hosted by SharePoint Online. A
similar feature exists for team project
management in the Team Site, where
you can create a Team Site for sync-
ing calendars, developing projects,
and working offine. To start a team-
accessible home base site in Share-
Point, go to the Site Actions menu,
choose New Site, and then click the
Featured Items or Browse All tab.
Offce In The Cloud
If your company uses SharePoint Online, you can
update or add pages to your Public Website whether
you’re in the offce or on the road.
64 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
desktop Lync, you can use the app to let
others know your present availability,
as well.
Microsoft recommends two sharing
methods from mobile: sharing with
recipients you invite to your site and
sharing via a guest link. Both methods
may require you to switch from mobile
to PC view through the Settings menu.
To share with site invitees, tap More in
the document library, then tap Share.
Next, type the appropriate names or
email addresses of those with whom
you’re sharing the doc. Next, select Can
Edit or Can View; check the Require
box. If you would like to add a
message, choose Show Options and tap
Send An Email Invitation. If you opt to
send a guest link, simply uncheck the
Require Sign-In check box.
Lync helps you document current mul-
tiuser conversations, calls, and meet-
ings so you can easily reference pivotal
conversations. To do this while you’re
in Lync, direct your pointer to the con-
versation window and click the More
Options menu (two arrows on the right
side of the window). Next, click Start
Recording. You can access saved record-
ings by navigating to the Microsoft Lync
Recording Manager. Click Start, select
All Programs, and then click Microsoft
Lync. Open the Manager and choose
your preferred recording. ●
Assign your team site a URL
and title and click Create.
Many times the records, lists,
and important items you save
in OneNote (Microsoft’s digital
note-taking software) turn into
meeting agendas and tasks for
colleagues, so it’s convenient
that Lync lets you save private
notes or share notes for collaborative
discussions. To start a note during an in-
session Lync meeting, click the OneNote
tab in the conversations window after
you pause the presentation. Then select
My Notes to start typing private notes
or click Share Notes and choose a sec-
tion for note-taking.
Lync not only lets you share your
Desktop, a program window, a white-
board, or a poll, but it also lets you
share PowerPoint presentations. When
you start an IM (instant message) con-
versation, click the Share drop-down
menu and select the PowerPoint Pre-
sentation option. After the presentation
uploads, you can enable restrictions,
such as who can enter the presentation,
who presents, and who is allowed to
annotate the presentation.
There are two ways to send a document
as an attachment using Lync: from the
document itself or through an open
IM window. Within the document
you intend to send, click File, click
Save & Send, and then select Send By
Instant Message. In the Address Book
window add the recipient names in the
To feld, and then make sure you can
see the attachment in the IM window.
Alternatively, you can start an IM con-
versation with a recipient, click the
paper clip icon (for sending attach-
ments), choose a fle, click Open, select
the item you intend to share, and send.
Another advantage of SharePoint is the
ability for multiple users to work in the
same documents simultaneously. To
access a document that’s available for
team editing, fnd the document link
in your SharePoint website’s document
library, hover over and click the arrow
(if you’re asked to select Ready Only
or Edit), and choose View In Brows-
er or Edit In Browser. Accessing doc-
uments in this way requires that the
corresponding Microsoft Web App
(Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or OneNote)
is installed.
Office 365 Outlook includes calendar
sharing options that let you select a con-
tact or group of people who may access
your schedule. You can do so by enter-
ing the Calendar view, clicking Share,
and choosing Share This Calendar.
Next, insert the individual or group
who will receive the shared calendar.
If your company uses Microsoft Lync,
try the mobile app when you’re away
from the offce. The Lync app is avail-
able for a variety of mobile platforms
and provides you with capabilities sim-
ilar to those of the desktop version. Log
in and start connecting with colleagues
directly via IM, or use the app to place
calls, start an email message, or partici-
pate in a videoconference. As with the
Tere are plenty of
helpful features built
into Ofce 365 to
keep you organized.
For example, you
can customize your
Outlook calendar
Web app as you plan
meetings and work
toward deadlines.
PC Today / October 2013 65
Even seeing the word “rootkit” can
send shivers up the spine of someone
who has suffered through the incon-
venience and damage a rootkit can
exact. As Dan Olds of Gabriel Consult-
ing Group (gabrielconsultinggroup.com)
says, “rootkits are some of the most
insidious and dangerous pieces of
malware out there today.” That’s due
to the fact that rootkits are both ex-
tremely diffcult to detect and get rid
of completely. Therefore, the more you
know about rootkits, the better.
A rootkit is software that infects and
gains privileged access to a com-
puter. “This means it can perform
administrator-level type tasks, ”
says Michela Menting, ABI Research
(www. abiresearch. com) senior ana-
lyst. “The primary feature is that it
Rootkit Attacks
can hide itself in the system and re-
main undetected.”
One way to think of how a rootkit
wreaks havoc, says Jim O’Gorman,
an instructor of offensive security
measures, is to envision that you
are driving a car but someone else
is intercepting all your movements
and deciding if he should pass them
on to the car or not. “In some cases,
he might decide to just insert some
of his own commands, as well,”
O’Gorman says.
Although rootkits are similar to vi-
ruses or Trojans, says Chris Hadnagy,
a security training professional, vi-
ruses and Trojans usually delete data,
stop services, or cause harm while a
rootkit provides an attacker system
access to get at data. Not all root-
kits are malicious (a company might
install one to remotely access and
control employee computers, for ex-
ample), however, Menting says they
are “extremely popular with mali-
cious hackers and cyber criminals,
which is why they have such a nega-
tive connotation.”
Essentially, rootkits give an attacker
free reign to perform any task de-
sired, include installing software;
deleting fles; modifying programs;
transmitting data; and using spy-
ware to steal credit card numbers,
passwords, keystrokes, etc. A root-
kit’s ability to modify existing pro-
grams and processes, says Menting,
enables it to avoid detection by se-
curity software that would normally
catch such software.
“There really aren’t any limits to
how much damage it can do to a PC,”
66 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
If a user suspects a rootkit, he
should first disconnect the system
from the Internet to cut off possible
remote access and prevent data from
leaking, Menting says. Next, remove
data from the infected computer and
scan it for malware on another de-
vice. (Menting notes that if the data
contains unknown [or zero-day] mal-
ware, this step may not guarantee the
malware is eradicated.) Finally, “the
computer should be purged—wipe
the hard drive and reinstall every-
thing,” she says. O’Gorman, in fact,
says starting over is the only real solu-
tion, because “really, you can’t trust
cleanup methods, as you are never
really sure if they worked.” 
The frst defense against rootkits (and
malware in general) is keeping the
OS and all software—especially secu-
rity software—up-to-date and fully
patched. Completely relying on anti-
virus software is a mistake, however.
As O’Gorman says, there’s always
a lag between the time a new threat
pops up and the point at which anti-
virus software can detect it. “The best
way to avoid issues is to not engage in
risky activities,” he says. “Run trust-
worthy, current software that’s kept
patched. Don’t go to shady sites with
out-of-date browsers and plug-ins.
Don’t run software that doesn’t come
from trustworthy sources.”
Unfortunately, “the likelihood of
being hacked or unwittingly down-
loading malware on a computer is
extremely high,” Menting says. “Es-
pecially in the network-connected
environment of a company—even if
you take all precautions necessary—
someone else may not have and you
get a virus from them internally.” She
suggests using different passwords for
all logins, encrypting sensitive and con-
fdential data, constantly being on the
lookout for odd system behavior, and
securing mobile devices if connecting
them to a company network or busi-
ness computer. ●
Olds says. “It can delete data fles and
then rewrite gibberish on the hard
drive to ensure that the data can’t be
recovered, or it can quietly work in the
background and log user keystrokes,
eventually capturing workplace, ecom-
merce, or banking usernames and pass-
words.” Ultimately, a rootkit can route
that data to a hacker “to plunder ac-
counts or gain access to a corporate net-
work,” Olds says.
Beyond software-based rootkits
there are hardware-based rootkits, says
Hadnagy. “These, like software root-
kits, give the attacker full admin access
to a machine, compromising everything
on it and even at times the network
it’s connected to,” he says. For users,
O’Gorman says a rootkit “destroys
all trust with the computer. You can’t
know what is private, what is not. All
integrity is gone.”
There are several ways a rootkit can
fnd its way into a computer. A down-
loaded program fle a user believes to
be legitimate, for example, may have
a rootkit embedded within it. Menting
says rootkits generally enter a system
through existing vulnerabilities and are
loaded by malware, which can infect
computers via downloads, email at-
tachments disguised as genuine com-
munication or documents, websites
with unpatched vulnerabilities, USB
thumb drives, or mobile devices.
To the average user, abnormal com-
puter behavior is the best indicator a
rootkit might be present; warning
signs include fles spontaneously dis-
appearing or appearing, a sluggish
Internet connection, and slow-loading
programs. Such behavior can indicate
other programs are running in the
background. Menting advises checking
the Task Manager to detect which ap-
plications or processes are running and
using significant memory. “For the
non-tech user, it may be diffcult to un-
derstand,” she says. “But users should
familiarize themselves with how their
Task Manager looks when it’s running
on a clean system so that when it actu-
ally is infected, the user can spot some
differences when looking at the tasks.”  
That said, detecting a rootkit is still
generally diffcult. This is due to how
adept they are at installing themselves
and hiding their presence in a way that
is “virtually undetectable by your sys-
tem software,” Olds says. “In this case,
the only way to fnd the rootkit is to
boot the system using a CD/DVD or
thumb drive that has special diagnostic
routines designed to fnd and remove
rootkits.” Hadnagy says if a system’s
OS is compromised, it can’t be “trusted
to fnd faws in itself.”  In this event, it
may be necessary to boot a self-con-
tained OS running from a CD/DVD
or USB drive and run malware de-
tection and removal software from a
“clean” environment.
For typical users, arguably the worst
news concerning rootkits is that getting
rid of one can be beyond their scope.
Olds says, in fact, most users should
probably seek an expert’s help if they
suspect a rootkit infection. Though
some security programs can detect and
remove specifc rootkits, Menting says,
“there are so many variants that it can
be impossible to detect and remove
them all.” Often, she says, getting rid of
a rootkit “requires a radical solution.”
Rootkits give an attacker free reign to perform any task
desired, include installing software; deleting fles; modi-
fying programs; transmitting data; and using spyware to
steal credit card numbers, passwords, keystrokes, etc.
PC Today / October 2013 67
The scenario is familiar to traveling
professionals: your PowerPoint presen-
tation is all set when new and relevant
information comes to light and must
be added. If you’re on the road or in
the sky and find yourself having to
add charts or graphs to a PowerPoint
presentation, this article will help. We
include tips designed for PowerPoint
novices and adept PowerPoint users
seeking specifc chart-making advice.
To insert a colorful chart or graph il-
lustration into your PowerPoint presen-
tation, locate the Insert tab and select
Chart. Next, look through the available
chart types, select the design that best
represents the information you want
to share, and click OK. A Microsoft Ex-
cel chart will open with placeholder
text and figures you can replace with
relevant data. When you fnish entering
information, click File and Close to open
the fnished chart in PowerPoint.
If you want to adjust the look of an
existing chart, click the chart in the
PowerPoint slide and the Chart Tools
contextual tab appears. Keep in mind
Chart Tools will only appear when
you select a chart. Open the Design
tab and you can manipulate the over-
all layout of a chart, adjust its style,
and save it as a template for future
presentations. To adjust the orienta-
tion, size, or spacing of a chart’s data
and graphical elements, expand the
Charts Layouts pane and choose one
of the nine layout options. You can also
change chart elements and background
colors by selecting options from the
Chart Styles section on the Design tab.
When you’ve fashioned a chart you’d
like to reuse, click the Save As Tem-
plate button on the Design tab. Name
the chart and PowerPoint saves it with
the .CRTX file extension, which indi-
cates it is a chart template.
Whether you’re presenting numerous
charts or need to add emphasis to spe-
cifc data within a chart, sometimes it’s
benefcial to call out key points. Locate
the Drawing pane in the Home tab and
expand the Shapes menu. Select one that
is appropriate for emphasizing informa-
tion in your chart, and then click any-
where in the chart to place the shape. To
customize the shape, select it and click
the Shape Fill, Shape Outline, Shape
PowerPoint Tips For
68 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
Effects, and Quick Styles options in the
Drawing pane.
If you’re used to working in Excel and
prefer to construct the skeleton of your
chart first, you can use Excel to com-
pile data and create a chart for use in
PowerPoint. Start by entering values
in an Excel workbook. Highlight all nec-
essary data cells, click Insert, and apply
a preferred chart style in the Charts
pane. Next, select the newly created
chart and click Copy in the Home tab.
Open a current or new PowerPoint slide
and fnd the Clipboard pane. Click the
Paste drop-down arrow and choose
Keep Source Formatting & Link Data
(to maintain the appearance of the Excel
fle) or Use Destination Theme & Link
Data (to match the chart appearance
with the presentation).
A chart that includes a lot of numbers
or a detailed legend may require some
editing, especially because you want it
to look polished for presentation pur-
poses. These fine-tuning tools are lo-
cated in the Labels pane of the Layout
tab on the Chart Tools contextual tab. If
you notice that your chart is missing a
title, you can add one by clicking Chart
Title and selecting Centered Overlay
Title or Above Chart—this displays
a title at the top of the chart. You can
browse the remaining label options to
add axis titles, insert legend variations,
and manipulate data.
To put the fnishing touches of color and
contrast on a chart, start by clicking the
Format tab in the Chart Tools contex-
tual tab. You can enhance backgrounds,
category shapes, and 3D chart elements
when you use options on the Shape
Styles pane for each feature. Options
on the WordArt Styles pane let you
apply fll colors, outlines, and effects to
chart text. To view every part of your
chart (such as depth, floor, horizon-
tal axis, side wall, and so on), click the
drop-down arrow at the top of the
Current Selection pane.
Regardless of whether you created
your initial chart in Excel or Power-
Point, you should be able to modify
data without much hassle. In Power-
Point, click the chart you intend to
change and select the Design tab in the
Chart Tools contextual tab. Next, click
Edit Data in the Data pane. Excel opens
the data sheet in a new window and
from here you can click and edit indi-
vidual cells. Simply closing the Excel fle
will refresh and save the new content.
If you want to emphasize a particular
data group, you can add animations to
a graph or chart. Under the Animations
tab, the Animation pane has approxi-
mately 30 default animations you can
apply to a chart. Explore extra effects
by clicking More Entrance Effects,
More Emphasis Effects, or More Exit
Effects at the bottom of the Animation
menu. To stagger the animation of
individual objects, click Effect Options
and select one of the following func-
tions: As One Object, By Series, By Cat-
egory, Be Element In Series, or By Ele-
ment In Category. ●
Microsoft PowerPoint’s Design tab in the Chart Tools contextual tab lets you modify the
layout of your chart and adjust its style. Tese settings help you create one-of-a-kind charts
and graphs that illuminate important statistics or values.
You can outline a graphical element, change its color, and add unique efects to a chart or graph
all within PowerPoint. In addition, applying WordArt Styles will change the fill color, shade, and
outline of selected text.
PC Today / October 2013 69
The theft or loss of a laptop, tablet,
smartphone, or other mobile device
ranks among the worst productivity ca-
tastrophes that can befall a traveling
professional. For all intents and pur-
poses, our devices are our offces when
we travel, and losing them disrupts our
ability to work and communicate. There
is an obvious financial hit associated
with the loss of hardware, but there is
a potentially greater hit that occurs in
the loss of corporate data. It’s impor-
tant, then, to know where your data
is at all times, so in the event that you
no longer have access to your devices,
you’ll know what is lost and what is ac-
cessible elsewhere. And, if you follow a
few mobile best practices, you’ll never
have to worry about losing much data at
all—if any.
Depending on your smartphone’s or tab-
let’s operating system, there is a certain
amount of device data that automatically
gets backed up on a regular basis. If you
use a USB cable to directly sync your
iPhone or iPad with your computer, for
example, the sync process backs up all
of the OS and app data stored on that
device; there is an option to encrypt and
password-protect the backed-up data,
too. If you use the iCloud service with
your iOS device, specific sets of data
will automatically be backed up in the
background as long as your device has
a Wi-Fi Internet connection, is plugged
in to a power source, and has a locked
screen; backed up data can include
camera roll images, documents, audio,
and settings, depending on the options
you choose.
Android users can manage incre-
mental backups for apps and device
settings by signing into the associated
Google Account from the smartphone
or tablet. The Android Auto Sync feature
routinely syncs in the background; how
and what it syncs partly depends on the
options you choose, but by default the
feature backs up OS data, contact infor-
mation, documents, and select app data
(such as Facebook and Twitter).
Mobile Data Best Practices
70 October 2013 / www.pctoday.com
you could set up an account with a
major online storage provider to use
with only a handful of files that are
necessary for a specifc trip. Providers
offering this type of service typically
also offer a mobile app that makes the
service more useful on your mobile
device. And some major storage ser-
vices also sync with productivity apps
you might already have installed on
your devices.
Another stop-gap alternative is
to use a Web-based email service to
email documents to and from a cor-
porate account. Doing this ensures
that a copy of the document is main-
tained on the corporate network even
after you delete the associated email
from the Web email account.
Finally, you can’t sync a certain amount
of valuable device data to the cloud
(or to your main computer via the
cloud), so be sure to back up that data
as often as possible to a second device
(such as a laptop) or storage solution
(such as a microSD card or portable
hard drive). ●
If you have a device running one of
the latest versions of Windows Phone,
you can sync documents stored on your
device with Microsoft’s SkyDrive cloud
storage solution; you can also retrieve
documents from SkyDrive that were
uploaded from a different source. To
sync all of the photos, audio fles, and
videos stored on your Windows Phone
device, you must install Microsoft’s
Zune software on your computer and
connect the mobile device to the com-
puter via USB.
“App data” encompasses a broad range
of digital information, but in our con-
text it means third-party apps and the
content you create using those apps.
Consider, for instance, note-taking ser-
vices that exist as both cloud services
(where all of the information associ-
ated with those services is stored in the
cloud) and applications (where your
app-related information is stored lo-
cally). As you take notes with the app,
it stores those notes locally and in the
cloud simultaneously and in real-time.
Such an app-service combination is dif-
ferent from a note-taking app that does
not have an associated cloud service;
with this type of app, everything you
add is stored only in the device and is
therefore vulnerable to loss. Make sure
you know how your apps work so you
don’t get caught unawares.
Also keep in mind that some apps
are more fexible than others. Apple’s
Notes app in iOS, for example, can
keep your notes on the device only or
on both the device and in the cloud,
depending on how you set it up.
If you travel frequently, you probably
have quite a few travel-related routines.
When it comes to keeping all of your
data intact, though, it’s important to re-
member that travel disrupts the rou-
tines you’ve established at the office.
For example, if you regularly sync your
tablet and smartphone with your com-
puter but typically leave the computer
behind when traveling, the backup
that otherwise occurs with every phys-
ical sync won’t take place during your
travels. If you keep that sort of thing
in mind while traveling, you will re-
main aware of what data resides in
the “danger zone” (i.e., stored on your
device, but not backed up anywhere
else) in the event your device gets lost
or stolen.
If you’re reluctant to sync key data
to a cloud backup or storage service
on a regular basis, consider using an
alternative cloud solution—at least
temporarily—to meet specifc require-
ments while traveling. For example,
You can customize which apps are backed up in iCloud by toggling the
ON/OFF button next to each app. Be sure to activate the Find My iPad
feature in case you need to locate a lost iOS device.

To locate the
Storage & Backup
menu on your iOS
device, tap Settings,
iCloud, and Storage
& Backup. From this
screen you can view
available storage
and switch iCloud
of and on.

PC Today / October 2013 71
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